GAA spreads its wings with new rights deals

Irish public-service broadcaster RTÉ, pay-television broadcasters BSkyB and Setanta Sports, and  Irish-language free-to-air broadcaster TG4 were awarded rights in Ireland for Gaelic Athletic Association hurling and Gaelic football tournaments in three-year deals, covering 2014-15 to 2016-17.

RTÉ retained live rights to 31 games per year, including the All-Ireland finals and semi-finals in both sports, the All- Ireland hurling quarter-finals, and two of the four All-Ireland football quarter-finals. RTÉ also acquired rights to all six provincial championship finals.

Sky acquired exclusive rights to 14 All-Ireland championship games, including two football quarter-finals and four provincial games.

TG4 acquired rights to Sunday afternoon National Football League matches, the All-Ireland Minor finals, and other junior tournaments. TG4 will show 62 games live and 22 matches delayed per year. Setanta retained rights for Saturday evening league games.

The association also agreed a deal with RTÉ to launch a global streaming platform to show live coverage of all televised games on a paid-for basis. 

BSkyB, pay-television sports channel Premier Sports and regional public-service broadcaster BBC Northern Ireland acquired rights in the UK to GAA competitions for the three years from 2014-15 to 2016-17. Sky will show 20 All-Ireland championship matches per year exclusively live, including the hurling and football semi-finals and finals.

Premier Sports, whose rights cover Great Britain only, will show 26 championship games and 30 National Football League matches per year. BBC Northern Ireland will show Ulster championship games.

Commercial broadcaster Seven acquired rights in Australia to 45 live games per year from the GAA Gaelic football and hurling championships in a one-season deal.