Saturday 19 January 2019

Pay-for-view debate won't be free to air at Congress

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail. Photo: Sportsfile
GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail. Photo: Sportsfile

There will be no proposals on the Congress agenda seeking to prohibit the exclusive broadcasting of GAA matches on pay-per-view TV channels - even though three counties had passed motions at their annual conventions.

Clare were advocating an end to subscription-based TV deals once current agreements expire. Likewise, proposals from Roscommon and Leitrim were, effectively, calling on the GAA not to renew contracts with Sky Sports (for SFC and SHC coverage) or eir Sports (for the Allianz Leagues) once they elapse in 2021.

But none of the above has made it onto the Clár of Congress, to be hosted by Croke Park on February 23/24. This hardly qualifies as a surprise, however, given similar motions are not allowed back onto the Congress agenda for three years unless they have received a minimum 33pc threshold of support.

And that doesn't apply here after a motion from Dublin club St Joseph's O'Connell Boys, brought to Congress in 2016, only received 15pc support. Their motion was that "all inter-county championship matches broadcast live be available free to air."

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