Mickey Harte has taken a shot at those who have been critical of the fact that the GAA have sold their broadcasting rights to Sky Sports.
With the race for the Sam Maguire entering its final few stages, there was an outcry from the fans who missed out on watching Mayo’s victory over Donegal live last Saturday – sparking a debate on the weekend’s edition of The Sunday Game that led Harte to speak his mind on the matter.
Speaking in a recent interview with The Irish Daily Star, the famed Tyrone manager cited the more modern presentation that comes with a spot on Sky Sports as something that makes this a necessary step for the sport’s development.
“The GAA deal with who they want to deal with in terms of who they give the rights of their games to. I have to suggest that the introduction of Sky to the promotion and presentation of gaelic games has helped what we’re looking at,” he told The Irish Daily Star.
“There were no graphics much until Sky brought them in – did they not exist of the last 10 or 15 years? I think they did. I think that’s an advantage of them. We’re getting more insightful analysis, all sorts of diagrams and arrows and highlighting that didn’t happen before, so there’s something good in what’s going on there. Don’t just think that it’s all wrong.”
Harte then went on to question those people who cite fans who reside in hospitals and homes in defense of their own argument, dryly insinuating that they are simply using that affection to bolster their point.
“I never seen so many people so interested in people in homes and other places around the country that can’t see television. It seems strange that these people suddenly have such a grá for these people.
“Why should anybody have the God-given right to see all games on television? That was never the case back in the day and we all survived.
“Just because it’s a luxury that’s available nowadays and some people can pay for it, other people may choose not, and we’ll all have the luxury of seeing highlights afterwards if we didn’t go to the game.”