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The Future of Sky Sports’ GAA Coverage Takes Hammer Blow

The dawn of Sky Sports’ GAA coverage in the summer of 2014 divided opinion throughout the country, with many pointing that we should not have to pay to watch our national games.

Last week, the Kerry county board voted in favour of making all games free-to-air, pointing out that these matches ought to be aired freely, and the likes of Sky Sports should not be able to charge the people of Ireland to watch hurling or football.

However, there was an argument that it promotes the GAA abroad, and while this is true, perhaps matches should not be exclusive to Sky.

The English broadcaster has been dealt another major blow, as Dublin look set to also oppose non-free-to-air channels.

Speaking to the42.ie, Dublin county board chairman Sean Shanley stated that they will stand by their Kerry counterparts on the issue.

“I think there is a feeling that it’s our own game and people who haven’t got Sky or can’t afford to pay for the one-off game are deprived from seeing games, particularly those of their own county.”

“It was never discussed at Congress previously, it was just the central body, Croke Park, deciding to give some of the games to Sky. They didn’t consult the counties so people feel aggrieved at that.

“The notion that most clubs and pubs have it. People spoke last night and said it’s wrong to be encouraging people to go into licensed premises to see the games. And that’s not the correct ethos either. That’s why it got such great support.”

When this goes to congress in February to be debated, it is likely that there will be many in agreement with Dublin and Kerry, and this may leave the future of the GAA on Sky uncertain.

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