GAAGO has announced its exclusive 2024 GAA Championship broadcast schedule, a new midweek show and the addition of seven-time hurling All-star Richie Hogan to its analysis team.

There will be 38 live and on-demand matches over the course of the Championship season with a pre-Christmas pass costing only €69 or less than €2 per game.

22 games will be in the All Ireland Senior Football Championship, nine in the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and seven in the Tailteann Cup.

Once again it is in the Hurling Championship that the most anger will be directed.

Leaving aside the fact that RTÉ has first pick on each game day and that without GAAGo none of the additional games will be shown at all, there will be frustration in Cork that each of its Munster Championship Games against Waterford, Clare and Limerick will all be behind the paywall, as well, for good measure as the Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final between Kerry and the winners of Cork against Limerick.

Wexford against Galway and Dublin against Kilkenny in the Leinster Senior Hurling will be likewise, as will both of the Leinster Senior Football Championship Semi-Finals and two of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter Finals.

Critics will be incensed but TV schedules are finite and the sports world is moving everywhere to a free-to-air /subscription / streaming hybrid model.

Today’s announcement provides an impressive slate of games for those willing to invest in a broadcast service that does deliver direct revenue back to every level of Gaelic Games.

Last year was the first season operating in the Irish market when a range of live matches that would not ordinarily have been shown to viewers were aired and analysed.

Individual pay-per-game matches will be available for €12, a ‘3-for-2’ bundle deal will cost €24 and GAA members will receive 10% off any full price (€79) subscription.

GAA clubs will be able to avail of a group pass for €150 and care-giving locations will again watch for free using complimentary login codes.

Like 2023, GAAGO coverage will include full outside broadcast treatment for nearly 30 games with live presentation, panel analysis and multi-camera setup.

In addition to the full match production, in-game digital highlights will be distributed to fans across GAAGO’s social media channels for the first time and a new midweek show will also provide more insight and debate during the Championship.

The service is developing and building on a strong base built up over a decade of providing coverage to overseas markets.

Multiple access points will play a key role in the service’s 2024 distribution strategy with virtually all internet-enabled devices being supported by and iOS or Android apps enabling casting to a TV screen.

Fans will also be able to enjoy accessing GAAGO directly on TVs via Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, ROKU or connected Samsung and LG smart TV’s.

“We are delighted to confirm the 2024 schedule for GAAGO and some enhancements to the offering including the addition of Richie Hogan to an already stellar line up of analysts and the very welcome addition of a new midweek GAA programme to complement the weekend coverage,” said GAA President Larry McCarthy.

“We have worked hard to strike the balance between those games which will be shown by our broadcast partners RTÉ and BBC and those which will be shown on GAAGO. It’s worth re-stating, if these games were not broadcast by GAAGO, they would not be available to view anywhere.”

“GAAGO strives to make access as easy as possible and will once again work with care facilities and our clubs through the offer of special packages.”

“GAAGO is focused on providing an extensive schedule of live and on-demand matches to our fans in Ireland and around the world and today’s schedule announcement once again showcases this commitment,” added Head of GAAGo, Noel Quinn.

“Producing thirty-eight matches, nearly 30 of which will receive full outside broadcast treatment, will ensure fans have a host of extra games to choose from next year and at a very compelling season pass price point.”

Criticism of the paywall nature of the service got wrapped up in RTÉ’s travails of last summer, as well as by prominent criticism by pundits including Cork legend Donal Óg Cusack.

We said at the time though that this was an inevitable wind of change blowing through the world of sports broadcasting and the the GAA and GAAGo should stand their ground. We are pleased that they have done so.