Ciara Kenny

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GAA expects All-Ireland final to net huge global audience

The All-Ireland football final on Sunday will be watched live by more people across the world than ever before because of high levels of emigration and increased availability of coverage online and on subscription television channels, writes Alison Healy. Find out how and where to watch the match here.

Thu, Sep 20, 2012, 11:58



This weekend's All-Ireland final may be watched online across the world

THE GAA believes the All-Ireland football final on Sunday will be watched live by more people across the world than ever before because of its increased availability online and on subscription television channels.

Croke Park yesterday released details of coverage on television and online platforms in a host of foreign countries, including the US, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, India and elsewhere in Asia.

The GAA says it expects huge interest in the match abroad because of the large emigrant populations from Mayo and Donegal in places such as the US and Australia.

GAA spokesman Alan Milton said there was traditionally strong interest abroad when All-Ireland finals featured counties from the western seaboard, so when two counties were in the final this interest was expected to be even greater. He said it was impossible to put a figure on the estimated viewership worldwide.

Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna said earlier this week that demand for tickets for this year’s final was unprecedented and he had never witnessed anything like it.

There is also strong anecdotal evidence of unusually large numbers of emigrants returning for the match. Many of them seem reconciled to not getting tickets but want to be in Ireland for the game.

In Britain, the subscription channel Premier Sports on Sky Channel 428 will be showing live coverage of the final. Premium Sports is also providing live coverage of the final in the US, through their Setanta-i player or via The channel is also broadcasting live coverage into bars and social venues.

In Australia, Setanta Sports is available on multiple platforms including Foxtel and Austar. The final is also available on Setanta-i, an online player that provides live coverage. Setanta Africa is also planning to provide live access to the final to many countries in sub Saharan Africa. Setanta Sports will be broadcasting the final in Asia.

And for supporters outside these regions, the final can be viewed online at

At home, RTÉ Two will broadcast the match. The earlier minor final between Dublin and Meath will be screened live by TV3.

The GAA has teamed up with Odeon cinemas around the State to show the match free of charge. The cinemas include Blanchardstown, Point Village, Coolock, Stillorgan, Cavan, Limerick, Waterford, Naas, Newbridge and Portlaoise. Tickets must be booked in advance.

This article appears on the front page of The Irish Times today, and on the main website here. Also in the newspaper today…

Emigration is a thread that runs through Mayo life and therefore through Mayo football, writes KEITH DUGGAN

AT THE GAA ground in Tourmakeady, the spectators’ area is called Ardán na nDeoraí – the Stand of Tears.

It was named for the hundreds of people who left the small townland on the shores of Lough Mask when there was no work to be had.

If the bronze statue in Kiltimagh of a suited man carrying his case and walking towards the train station is the most eloquent salute to the thousands who have departed Mayo down the decades, then Tourmakeady is one of the places most associated with leaving.

Read more here…

Will you be watching the match on Sunday? Let us know where and how in the comments section below.