Hurling replay unlikely to be televised

Dublin-Galway clash set for Tullamore but Sky TV covering Laois versus Kildare game

Galway’s Jonathan Glynn and Joe Canning tackle Dublin’s Conal Keaney at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Galway’s Jonathan Glynn and Joe Canning tackle Dublin’s Conal Keaney at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

It’s unlikely that Saturday’s Leinster hurling championship replay between Dublin and Galway in Tullamore will be televised. RTÉ could broadcast it, should they receive permission from the GAA, but a number of issues make it seem increasingly difficult.

For starters, the 4.45pm throw-in could seep into Sky Sports first live football game of the summer. Laois face Kildare at the same venue at 7pm so RTÉ would probably have to use the terrestrial channel’s outside broadcast units. That’s not an unusual request but Sky would be damaging their own viewing figures should the hurling go into extra-time.

They learned that lesson last season.

There may also be a contractual issue. Last June’s engrossing Kilkenny versus Galway Leinster semi-final replay, also in O’Connor Park, couldn’t be televised or live streamed by RTÉ due to a scheduling clash with the Ulster semi-final between Monaghan and Armagh, which was shown by Sky.

“Contractually we’re obliged not to allow games go out in competition with others that are an agreed part of the schedules announced at the start of the championship,” explained GAA spokesman Alan Milton at the time.

The same problem arose in 2013 when Dublin famously beat Kilkenny in a replay in Portlaoise although that was live streamed on the national broadcaster’s website. As was the Waterford versus Cork replay last year. RTÉ could live stream Saturday’s game but as it’s a quarter-final, and not a semi or final, they need the GAA’s permission.

Second Captains

All told, it seems like too many obstacles exist to get the match on air. RTÉ will make a decision about whether to approach Sky and the GAA tomorrow. Hurling supporters unable to travel to O’Connor Park, with its 20,000 capacity, will probably miss out.

Another factor in this is the Kildare versus Laois game clashes with the Champions League final between Juventus and Barcelona, which is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 (from 6pm) and RTÉ 2 (from 7pm).

As it currently stands, RTÉ’s live GAA coverage this weekend is from Celtic Park on Sunday with Derry versus Down in the Ulster football championship (2pm) followed by Waterford versus Cork in the Munster hurling championship (4pm) semi-final in Thurles.

Other matches, not on live TV, are Leinster hurling championship quarter-finals – Offaly against Laois and Wexford against Westmeath.

A strain

Christy Ring

Dublin captain Cian O’Callaghan is starting the second of what will be three full-blooded championship matches in just six days. Colm Cronin, who started at centre forward in Sunday’s 0-20 to 1-17 draw with Galway, is in the same situation as he goes to full forward against Kilkenny. Shane Barrett came off the bench for Dublin on Sunday and now starts at wing back. Brian Cody’s son Diarmuid starts at centre back for Kilkenny. Dicksboro’s Evan Cody captains the side.

Dublin haven’t won a provincial title at this grade since 2011, Wexford are the reigning champions, while Kilkenny last won the title in 2014 but field a side strengthened by last season’s All-Ireland winning minor panel. The promising Liam Blanchfield is named in the forwards.

Meanwhile, Tyrone’s assistant manager Gavin Devlin will not be contesting his eight week suspension arising from the melee at half-time of the Ulster preliminary round defeat to Donegal in Ballybofey. It means Devlin will not be pitch side for the first round qualifier on June 27th.

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