GAA Media Rights Manager Reveals Future Intentions Of Sky Sports In Gaelic Games

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Behind-the-scenes at the first ever Sky Sports GAA broadcast between Kilkenny and Offaly at Nolan Park on Saturday 7th June 7/6/2014 Hurling analysts Jamesie O’Connor and Ollie Canning with presenters Brian Carney and Rachel Wyse Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Since Sky Sports moved into GAA broadcasting in 2014, the game has been changed. There has been a huge divide, as many feel that taking games away from free-to-air television goes against the very ethos of the association.

Noel Quinn, Media Rights Manager of the Gaelic Athletic Association, spoke to Pundit Arena’s weekly GAA podcast, The 16th Man, to discuss how he feels Sky Sports’ first steps into GAA have gone, and where the future lies for the coverage.

“In every walk of life, there will be people very much in favour of something, and other people will have reservations about it. I think that’s the beauty of the GAA that we have an open frank discussion about everything.”

There was a motion brought before the GAA Congress last year to make all games free-to-air, but it was emphatically defeated.

“It’s very important [for the GAA] that we maintain a level of competition in the Irish market.

“Sky has been a phenomenal success. The fact that they’re one of the biggest sports broadcasters in the world; one of the best in the business, with their production values. It’s an alternative voice in GAA, and I think it’s certainly upped the game, not just in GAA, but of everybody broadcasting live sport in Ireland.”

The broadcaster posted some very low viewing figures throughout the season, and some feel that they may lose interest in covering the sports.

“It is difficult for me to comment on Sky’s intentions. There will be a review. My understanding is that they are very very happy, as are we.

“I think Sky are very happy with [the GAA coverage]. I think GAA hits a key point for them in terms of their product offering. The fact that they’re employing 1,000 people in Ireland means they’re very much integrating themselves into Irish life and culture.

“Sky Sports, RTÉ, TG4, BBC, all the broadcast partners are pushing the boundaries what they bring to the GAA viewer. Of course there is always room for improvement in every department. That is the exciting bit. In 2017 we will see greater advancements.”

You can listen to the interview in full on the podcast, and also subscribe on iTunes.

Noel Quinn will also be speaking at next week’s One Zero Conference in Dublin, taking part in a panel discussion on digital sport, and how fans are currently consuming digital sport.

Tickets for the event, which features Lance Armstrong, Clive Woodward, John Kavanagh, Shane Lowry and more are still on sale over on www.onezerocon.com.

Read More About: Contract, deal, future, GAA, Gaelic Football, Hurling, manager, media rights, noel quinn, sky sports

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. View all posts by The PA Team