Leitrim join Roscommon in call for GAA not to renew Sky Sports and Eir deals

Clare have tabled another motion opposing pay-per-view, while Leitrim have joined Roscommon in calling for the GAA not to renew their broadcasting deals with Sky Sports and Eir when they elapse in 2021.

Before Christmas, it was reported Roscommon’s club delegates had unanimously backed Boyle’s proposal that the GAA “does not renew nor enter contracts with television companies that require pay per view for coverage of our national games after the current contract expires”.

A similar motion put forward by Leitrim club St Mary’s, Kiltoghert was also backed at Leitrim’s annual convention last month.

It read: “The GAA will not allow continued exclusive TV coverage for any games to any subscription channel, after the current contract expires. In future all proposed GAA match TV coverage will be made available via free to air”.

Clare’s delegates in December backed a motion from Éire Óg Ennis that, following the conclusion of the agreement with Sky Sports, the GAA would also make hurling and football championship matches available on a “non-subscription channel”.

Scariff and Clonlara had tabled similar proposals. Clare had previously had a pay-per-view motion diverted to Central Council, who rejected it.

Two years ago, a recommendation from St Joseph’s/O’Connell Boys, backed by Dublin, to make all championship games free-to-air was soundly defeated. As it failed to receive one-third backing, a similar motion may not be permitted on the clár until 2019, as per rule 3.4 (h) of the GAA’s Official Guide.

However, Clare’s motion does not rule out any future agreements with pay-per-view companies and could be given the green light by the rules advisory committee. Support from counties such as Donegal and Kerry is expected to be forthcoming, should any of the three motions be debated.

Meanwhile, it’s likely Páraic Duffy’s successor as director general will have the job of addressing the GAA’s difficulty with testimonials.

Management committee member and Central Council delegates in Croke Park this past weekend were not presented with a motion to ban players from profiting from such events. It’s understood the GAA are still seeking legal advice on the matter. Central Council are set to put forward three motions to Congress relating to closing loopholes that presented themselves during disciplinary cases in 2017.

There are six candidates for the two trustee positions, which will be voted on at Congress. Tipperary’s John Costigan, Clare’s Robert Frost, Declan Flanagan, Martin McAviney (both Monaghan), Paddy McMahon (Louth) and Larry McCarthy (New York) are vying for the roles, which will be vacated by Longford’s John Greene and Donegal’s Niall Erskine.

- Irish Examiner



By John Fogarty
GAA Correspondent

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