Former Wexford hurler Diarmuid Lyng has created a petition to dismantle the GAA’s association with pay-per-view services.
The petition condemns the GAA’s link with pay-per-view broadcasters, such as Sky Sports, eir Sport and ‘all games behind a paywall’.
Alongside the TG4 GAA analyst, Joe Brolly, Michael Duignan and Paul Rose have also signed the petition formed to send ‘a clear and unified message to the incoming Director General and President’.
“Grassroots men and women who have given their lives to the GAA are being cut off from their own games, despite the organisation being built on the strength of their work,” the petition reads.
“It is disingenuous to suggest that the pay per view model is financially essential given the rude health of the GAA in 2018.
“The elite model which Sky Sports champions is detrimental to the social fabric of areas in which GAA clubs carry a sincere social responsibility.
“The GAA’s most significant opportunity lies in restoring value to local community. We can shift the balance back towards the club by encouraging the club game to develop alongside the inter-county game, as opposed to well behind it, as is the current reality.”
In the past, Brolly and Duignan have publicly condemned the GAA’s association with the pay-per-view model.
The Offaly native famously argued the case of his 83-year-old father being forced out of watching his national sport, simply because he doesn’t have access to the televised pay-per-view subscription.
“My parents are at home, my father is 83 years of age. A savage hurling man,” Duignan told The42.
“Why should he go to the pub? He doesn’t go to the pub to watch a match.”
Similarly, in an enthralling Irish Independent article, Brolly explained how the incorporation of the pay-per-view model into the GAA is resulting in a detrimental ‘cultural hijack’.
“The trick is to buy elite players’ loyalty, make them brand ambassadors, give them sugary, hand-shaking jobs like the partners of England’s princes, and create images of them holding hurls or size 5s in the midst of crowds of smiling children.”
He argued that the GAA was being bought, so much so that in the near future we could one day be attending a ‘Super Eight Series at Sky Park on Jones’ Road, exclusively live on Sky Sports’.
At the time of writing, the petition has already accumulated just under 700 signatures.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena