GAA president says there is no automatic right for everybody to see all games
Aogán Ó Fearghaíl claims RTÉ were the big winners in the last broadcast carve-up
Waterford captain Patrick Curran and his Galway counterpart Brian Molloy ahead of the Under-21 All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
As GAA leaders put the finishing touches on a new TV rights deal, association president Aogán Ó Fearghaíl has insisted that “there is no automatic right for everybody to see every game”.
The GAA will soon announce whether they will extend their partnership with Sky Sports, as Ó Fearghaíl said that RTÉ were the big winners in the last broadcast carve-up.
The Sky Sports deal continues to come in for criticism from those who feel that all games should be shown on a free-to-air basis.
“I have said this before, I’ll say it again, there is no such thing as a Sky deal, there’s a media deal, and the big winners in the last deal certainly were RTÉ,” said Ó Fearghaíl.
“Our biggest thing is always to make sure that people are at a match.
“Without the attendances we have difficulty, so there is no automatic right for anyone to see every single game.”
Meanwhile, Ó Fearghaíl indicated that Croke Park will deliberate on the proposed senior football championship reforms in November at Central Council level.“We’ve given them to counties and asked them for their feedback. This has really been a two-year process.
“We asked them last year to think about things themselves and they now realise how difficult it is to actually come up with anything that everybody will welcome.
“They now have a set of proposals in front of them and that’s absolutely definite.
“They have a few months now to think about it and what we’re going to ask them to do in November is, can they agree to put this as a motion to Congress?”
Meanwhile, Brian Molloy believes that it’s time for Galway’s minor and under-21 hurlers to compete in the Leinster championship.
Molloy, who will captain the under-21s in Saturday’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland final against red-hot favourites Waterford, admits that the young Tribesmen are at a distinct disadvantage at the start of each championship campaign.
This year’s minor crop only had a facile All-Ireland quarter-final against Antrim to prepare for a Tipp team with four tough Munster championship games under their belts.
And that showed as Tipp bagged seven goals at Croke Park to end Galway’s reign as All-Ireland minor champions.
The under-21s were in an even more perilous position, playing their first game of the entire campaign at the All-Ireland semi-final stage against Dublin.
Galway came through after extra-time on a night when Molloy scored 10 points, the senior panellist very much leading by example.
“I probably would prefer to play in Leinster because more games would help a lot and you’d be able to sort your team out quicker,” said Molloy.
“We played the 15 that started against Dublin and you wouldn’t be sure if it’s your best 15 or not.
“When the seniors went in [to Leinster], everyone should have gone in and have everyone off the one hymn sheet really.”