GAA sees revenue drop of €16 million in 2023

Adjusted media rights income, lack of concerts in Croke Park and a drop in Government funding contribute to loss of revenue

The GAA’s revenues contracted in 2023 by €16 million, from €128 million to €112 million, between adjusted media rights income and the lack of concerts in Croke Park. This was counteracted by record gate receipts in line with the expanded football championship format.

The reformed All-Ireland football championship and Tailteann Cup created additional fixtures and contributed half of the additional €5 million brought in through the turnstiles.

Overall, the association showed a slight increase in its operating surplus, from €6 million to €6.5 million, which was accounted for by profit on the sale of some of the old Clonliffe College land, which will also be used for playing pitches and training facilities.

State funding fell by €7 million, a reflection of the ending of the special Covid supports, which washed through the system in last year’s accounts and sponsorship was also down by €1 million.


One of the other main contributors was a drop in media rights income of around €4 million, caused by the departure of Sky and eir as broadcast partners and their replacement by GAAGo, the streaming company jointly run with RTÉ, which was a matter of some controversy last year after some high-profile matches were shown on the subscription service.

The GAA remains confident that the service can grow and strengthen revenues.

In his annual report, Director General Tom Ryan dedicated a section to the issue.

“I firmly believe that GAAGo is ahead of the curve in the context of what other Irish sporting organisations are offering and represents the logical next step in sports broadcasting.

“Indeed, whenever the GAA has lead others have often followed but where there is change to convention there will inevitably be resistance in some quarters.

“Negative sentiment proved to be an obstacle for GAAGO in 2023, but the platform unquestionably achieved what we set out to do. We increased the number of live games available to our membership (42 exclusive games across 11 weekends, a total three-times that of what a traditional linear TV partner would have otherwise delivered) and for that many were extremely thankful.

“Membership discounts, clubhouse passes and free passes for care homes were widely acknowledged, as were the very affordable season pass and match bundle options.”

The director general also wrote that the GAA would be making a submission to the Government review of free to air sports events, which it is proposed to extend to include the following GAA fixtures included:

• Both All-Ireland senior football semi-finals

• Both All-Ireland senior hurling semi-finals

• All Four All-Ireland senior football quarter-finals

• Both All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals

• All Four Provincial football finals

• Both Provincial hurling finals

“It’s worth noting the fact that barely a couple of dozen games out of our near 400-game season earn any return,” he says.

“Here they are. In point of fact only two of the above games are not free-to-air currently, so the viewer benefit of any change in designation would be marginal.

“But it would remove our right to negotiate and would have a seriously detrimental impact on our finances and our operations.”

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Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times