GAA Announces Lucrative Sky Sports Deal


The GAA have announced details of its TV and radio broadcast rights to cover the period 2014-2017, which includes a bumper deal with Sky Sports.

Speaking about the new deals, GAA President Liam O’Nèill said “Making our games more widely available to Irish people abroad was a critical factor in our approach to these negotiations. We felt an obligation to them not to neglect their legitimate appeals to be able to watch live TV coverage of our games.”

Within Ireland, a total of 45 provincial and All-Ireland championship matches will be broadcast live on television annually for the next three years: a total of 31 games will be shown by RTÉ (as per the last contract) and 14 by Sky Sports.

The 31 championship games to be televised by RTÉ include the All-Ireland finals and semi-finals in both codes, the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals, and two of the four All-Ireland football quarter-finals.

RTÉ have also secured the rights to all six Provincial championship finals, while the remainder of the 31 games to be shown live on RTÉ are a mixture of provincial championship and qualifier games. Ulster championship games covered by RTÉ, including the Provincial football final, will also be broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland.

Sky Sports has obtained exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 championship games.

These consist of eight Saturday evening matches in the All-Ireland qualifiers, two All-Ireland football championship quarter-finals, and two Saturday evening and two Sunday provincial championship games. In addition to these 14 games, Sky Sports will also broadcast live the All-Ireland hurling and football semi-finals and finals, thus making 20 live games available to its subscribers throughout Britain and Ireland.

All games broadcast on Sky and the majority on RTÉ will be shown in HD.

The GAA’s commitment to the support of the Irish language is reflected in TG4’s retention of Sunday afternoon Allianz League matches. TG4 has also been awarded coverage of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor finals, bringing them back to Croke Park on the GAA’s two biggest days, and will again cover AIB Club Championships, the Irish Daily Mail Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cups, Masita All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools competitions, the Cadbury U21 Football Championship, Bord Gáis Energy U21 Hurling Championship and county finals. It is anticipated that TG4 will again cover 62 live and 22 deferred games in each of the three years. Setanta Sports will continue to broadcast Saturday evening Allianz Leagues games.

While the award of domestic TV broadcast rights will see over 90 live games shown free-to-air within Ireland in each of the next three years, the GAA has also delivered on its promise to address access to its major games for those living outside of Ireland. In addition to Sky Sports providing exclusive live coverage of 20 championship matches in Britain, in a major new departure, Channel 7 will show all 45 live championship games free to air in Australia.

A further exciting expansion of coverage for Irish people living abroad is reflected in a new online streaming service – a joint venture between the GAA and RTÉ Digital – which will allow supporters living in the U.S and worldwide access to all games televised live in Ireland via the internet on PC, desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones and other connected devices.

These new arrangements will provide vastly improved access to our games throughout the world, thus allowing the GAA to meet its commitment to make its games more widely available to Irish people living outside of Ireland.

Radio coverage of GAA games remains with RTÉ and Newstalk, while Raidió na Gaeltachta will continue to broadcast both league and championship games trí Gaeilge. Today FM continue to provide score flash updates. In addition, the GAA intends to renew its successful local radio partnership with the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) in the coming weeks.

The view from within the GAA

Liam Ó Néill, Uachtarán

“We are pleased to confirm arrangements for the broadcast of our games for the next three years, particularly as we believe that they represent an exciting development for the Association.”

“Making our games more widely available to Irish people abroad was a critical factor in our approach to these negotiations. We felt an obligation to them not to neglect their legitimate appeals to be able to watch live TV coverage of our games. We are also glad that this brings the quality and excitement of our games to a wider international audience. Gaelic games are national games played in a small country, and which must compete for audience loyalty with the hugely powerful sporting and marketing resources of international sports. The GAA has to fight its corner, and must ensure that it maintains a strong presence across a range of media outlets so that we can continue to fund our clubs in the important sporting, cultural and social roles they perform in their communities. ”

Páraic Ó Dufaigh, Ard Stiúrthóir

“In the negotiation of these rights, the GAA was guided by a wish to drive the promotion of Gaelic games and we believe the new rights’ contracts will provide Gaelic games with their widest-ever global audience reach.

“We look forward to working with all of our broadcast partners in television and radio, and are enthused by the prospect of having our games presented to the highest standards of sports’ broadcasting. We are delighted to have retained our domestic partnerships with RTÉ, TG4, Setanta Sports, Newstalk and Raidió na Gaeltachta. We welcome our new partnership with Sky Sports and firmly believe that their coverage of our games will bring a new excitement to our championships.”

“Financial considerations were far from being the guiding criterion in our negotiations, and were of lesser importance than the issue of making our games more widely available to Irish people living abroad. In fact, the financial benefit to the GAA from the new broadcast contracts compared to the previous ones is marginal.”

Peter McKenna, Croke Park Stadium and GAA Commercial Director

“While negotiation of these rights was a lengthy process, we were determined to bring our games to as many people as possible in all parts of the world. Supporters of hurling and football living outside Ireland will have easier access to our games than ever before, while viewers in Ireland can watch almost 100 live games on free-to-air terrestrial TV, in addition to games on Sky and Setanta Sports.

Image courtesy of

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: