AT THE starting of each week, eir Sport reveal their eir Sport Gold content material being showcased over the next seven days, with the previous week’s schedule overlaying boxing, soccer, tennis, rugby and GAA.

Two weeks in the past, eir Sport aired the primary two instalments of the four-part Dublin v Meath Leinster championship saga in 1991, with the remaining two video games proven on Wednesday night. Final night time, the station confirmed the 1969 All-Eire hurling closing between Kilkenny and Cork.

For a lot of GAA followers denied entry to a summer season of dwell motion, the eir Sport content material has a minimum of provided some type of a substitute. Substitutes are not often the star attraction however, over the past 4 months, eir Sport has been enjoying a blinder.

When the final TV rights deal was being drawn up three years in the past, eir Sport acquired the GAA’s archive rights within the final spherical of negotiations, up till 2022. It might have appeared insignificant on the time, particularly when RTÉ and Sky Sports activities had loads of dwell content material to indicate. However when dwell GAA was canned, these outdated matches had been abruptly much more valuable than they appeared in the course of the negotiations.

Regardless of having proven most of these video games dwell over the a long time, RTÉ has no entry to the archive, which dates again past 2017, the 12 months of its present dwell settlement.

RTÉ and eir Sport had come to an settlement over the dwell broadcast of some league video games over the past two seasons. Eir has the rights to Saturday night time league matches within the present five-year settlement however eir sublet a few of these rights to permit RTÉ present some Saturday night time dwell league matches. The identical precept will apply when RTÉ will display screen dwell county championship fixtures within the coming weeks and months.

TG4 will nonetheless reserve the primary two picks of any weekend, however RTÉ will nonetheless have an honest vary to select from. But the present rights deal nonetheless underlines how restrained RTÉ are — when RTÉ confirmed some outdated traditional matches in April, together with the Cork-Waterford 2004 Munster closing, that was a part of an interim settlement with eir that not applies.

The nationwide broadcaster has introduced again The Sunday Recreation and, whereas the programme has been focussing on topical discussions round video games and occasions, RTÉ are hamstrung with simply three years of fabric to work with.

It’s much more irritating once more for RTÉ provided that they’ve six a long time of outdated footage sitting in their very own archives. That frustration is compounded additional with TG4 having additionally held on to its GAA archive rights, that are restricted, however which make up an important a part of its programming.

TG4’s new collection, All-Eire Gold moved on to its second instalment final weekend. It’s one other creative undertaking by TG4 however additionally it is constrained by the fabric at their disposal. In a brief Reeling within the Years format, final Sunday’s programme targeted on what occurred in 1981.

It’s a minimum of one other meagre type of GAA rationing on terrestrial TV however, for now, the feast continues over on a subscription channel.

“They at all times had a worth however the worth of getting pictures and recordings of outdated video games have undoubtedly are available in to their very own now,” mentioned Rob Hartnett of Sport for Enterprise on RTÉ Information a number of months again.

RTÉ in the meantime are persevering with to attempt to facilitate Gaelic video games all through a dormant summer season regardless of having restricted archive materials. But that can be a dilemma for the GAA as a result of RTÉ is its main broadcaster and one of many GAA’s few promotional instruments in the course of the present local weather. In addition to drawing the largest audiences for soccer and hurling matches, that additionally applies to GAA programmes.

The GAA are totally conscious of the present void on terrestrial channels however the Affiliation is contractually sure to face by the contract signed with eir, which is regarded as price within the area of €200,000.

A technique of filling that void is counties streaming their very own membership matches, particularly with crowd restrictions, and plenty of older supporters unable, or afraid, to attend matches within the coming months. But whereas streaming from particular person counties has turn into extraordinarily fashionable in recent times, it has its restrictions too within the present local weather.

Many counties exploring the prospect of live-streaming some championship video games within the coming weeks should abide by the GAA’s streaming coverage, which doesn’t permit live-streamed video games to go in direct battle with video games being broadcast by the rights-holders, on this case TG4 and RTÉ.

That might imply monetary penalties however the entire conundrum has reopened a wider debate about whether or not the GAA ought to have their very own tv channel. Some counties have already jumped on that practice by producing their very own content material — Armagh TV, Mayo TV and Dubs TV.

The GAA do have GAAGO, a subscription-based service run by the GAA and RTÉ, which options dwell video games, together with sure archival materials. Nevertheless, that’s aimed toward a global market, solely accessible to the Irish diaspora.

“Clearly it [a GAA channel] would afford the chance of getting matches archived and it may, in time, maybe generate substantial income and supply a complete overview of the Affiliation’s actions on the contact of a button,” mentioned the late Danny Murphy, former Ulster Council secretary, again in 2011.

“I consider {that a} GAA station catering completely for our video games and actions could be greater than welcomed now,” Virtually a decade on, that want has by no means been better for the GAA.



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