Boylesports come to rescue for RTé racing
It certainly wouldn't have reached the same scale of talking points as the GAA's move to bring Sky Sports into the mix for GAA rights, but what might have seemed a low key announcement for many last Monday lunchtime was certainly far from that.
Fairyhouse was the scene with Ted Walsh and Barry Geraghty were in place to help Boylesports announce a two-year deal which will see the Louth-based firm become the main backer of horseracing on RTé.
Whether we like it or not, the sport of kings on RTé seemed to have a bleak enough future. It needed saving and Boylesports have done that for now anyway and will hopefully add to the package, making our sport even more popular.
Racing was never going to just vanish from out terrestrial television screens, but without the backing of the likes of Boylesports, and Betfair before them, the number of days that the state broadcaster wished to show could have dwindled dramatically and that is certainly not what we want.
There is great potential to make RTé racing a real hit and there is no doubt that Ted Walsh (pictured) is paramount to that for his forthright comments and in-depth knowledge of the main topic up for discussion.
However, to be fair to RTé, some of the features over the last number of festivals have been quite enjoyable and it can often be a downfall when, being present at the races, you miss out on what is being covered by Robert Hall and Ted.
And, of course, there is that old topic of discussion that comes up now and again when some people will suggest you see or hear more on the television than at the racecourse. Unfortunately, that is sometimes true!
RTé will broadcast 24 days of live Irish racing and the agreement with Boylesports - which is valued at a seven figure investment - will also stretch across online and radio coverage and "RTé and Boylesports will develop innovative integrations between live television and mobile applications to support the ever-increasing number of sports fans watching racing while multi-tasking through their mobile devices.
In fairness, the support of Boylesports to Irish racing can't be questioned with the likes of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse and the Champion Chase at Punchestown carrying the Boylesports banner.