The GAA’s decision to give Sky exclusive coverage of 14 All-Ireland games is nothing more than “putting profits ahead of principle”, one that will not benefit Galway GAA fans.
Fianna Fáil Galway City Central councillor Ollie Crowe has slammed the GAA’s deal with Sky, saying if Galway footballers win their first championship encounter with London, the Connacht semi-final against Sligo will be among those games exclusively available on Sky. As such, many Galway GAA followers will not be able to see the game live.
Cllr Crowe has written to the CEO of Galway GAA, John Hynes, to outline his view of the deal.
However Cllr Crowe said he was “delighted the GAA would be receiving international exposure” through the deal and that emigrants would now have greater access to watch games live. His concern though is in the granting of ‘exclusive international rights’.
“The GAA was founded with the stated goal of promoting Irish culture,” he said, “but I fail to see how they are doing that by depriving thousands across the country of watching our national games. For them to now have to pay to watch their county in action on TV is abhorrent.”
Cllr Crowe is also concerned that the deal will “open the floodgates” to Sky eventually gaining control of a majority of the championship games. He said: “It’s a completely contradictory viewpoint to have, that on the one hand, this is going to be a great success and that on the other, Sky won’t demand additional coverage if it is such a success.”