Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Michael Moynihan TD, has called on Minister Pat Rabbitte to ensure all major GAA games are kept on free-to-air TV into the future.
Deputy Moynihan was speaking as the Government begins a review process of which sporting and cultural events should be shown on free-to-air TV over the next 3 years.
“The recent announcement of a deal between the GAA and SKY for 14 pay-per-view games came as a shock to many with the GAA community. It has led to genuine fears that the GAA may move towards selling more and more of its broadcasting rights to pay-per-view networks.
“All Irish people should be afforded the right to watch the national game free of charge on the national broadcaster and people should use this opportunity to let Minister Rabbitte know that they want our national games and their amateur ethos protected.
“Fianna Fáil is calling for all games from the quarter-final stage of both the hurling and football championships along with the provincial finals to be listed as designated events, which would be protected and shown free-to-air. At the moment only the All-Ireland Finals are protected under the current legislation.
“I would also encourage people to make submissions for lesser-known sporting and cultural events which may not be shown at all or on a limited basis. I was disappointed that RTE, for instance, didn’t broadcast the very successful Special Olympics Ireland games, which took place last weekend in Limerick. Over 1,500 athletes took part in the games, but RTÉ failed to show any live coverage of the event.
“The submission process is a chance for sporting bodies and cultural groups to influence Government policy and I sincerely hope Minister Rabbitte gives every submission its due consideration.
“Submissions can be made by email to email@example.com. Closing date is Friday August 1.”