Motion to stop future Sky Sports deals defeated at Congress

Delegates reject motion by margin of 85% to 15%

Congress has strongly backed the GAA subscription deal with Sky Sports. Photograph: Clive O’Donohoe/Inpho

Congress has strongly backed the GAA subscription deal with Sky Sports. Photograph: Clive O’Donohoe/Inpho

 

Congress has strongly backed the GAA subscription deal with Sky Sports by defeating a Dublin motion to make all televised championship matches available free to air. The margin was 85 per cent to 15.

Dublin delegate Ken O’Sullivan had proposed the motion, saying that the association “was built on inclusion and solidarity” and that subscription television makes “the older and poorer considerably less likely to be able to watch” matches. He was supported by Donegal but those opposing included delegates from Cavan, Longford, Cork, New York, Galway as well as former president Nickey Brennan and GPA representative Dermot Earley.

The arguments against centred on the inadvisability of tying the GAA’s hands on the negotiation of media rights. Ger Lane, chair of Cork county board, said that having different service providers “enhances the position of the negotiating team” and also questioned whether such matters should be in the rule book.

Former president Brennan said that subject of the motion “shouldn’t even be on the clár. If it’s tv rights now it could be other commercial matters in the future.”

Lane added that the GAA’s “Management Committee had dealt very, very successfully” in the commercial area in the past and should be allowed continue to have that responsibility.

It was defeated by 15 per cent to 85 and, like any motion that fails to secure one third of the vote, cannot now be raised for another three years.

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