Sky viewing figures for Super 8s clash fall dismally short of expectations
RTÉ have once again shown dominance over Sky Sports in GAA television ratings with the national broadcaster averaging an audience of 314,800 for Kilkenny and Cork.
The All-Ireland quarter-final controlled a 43% share of the audience and ran in conjunction with the Meath and Donegal Super 8s opener on Sky Sports.
The Donegal and Meath game had an average audience of just 1,000 in the UK compared to the 314,800 with Kilkenny and Cork in Ireland.
Average audience for 2pm game on Sunday
- RTÉ: Cork v Kilkenny (Ireland) - 314,800
- Sky Sports: Donegal v Meath (UK) - 1,000
Dublin's Super 8 opener with Cork returned an average of 362,000 in Ireland while the other All-Ireland quarter-final between Tipperay and Laois pulled in 239,400.
The hurling at Croke Park clashed with the Kerry and Mayo game in the opening rounds of the Super 8s with the match in Killarney drawing an average audience of 247,200 and a 27% share of the audience at that time.
Both games also clashed with the Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand as well as the Wimbledon men's final between Rodger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
SportsJOE have contacted Sky to attain Irish figures for the Meath and Donegal game, as well as the Tyrone and Roscommon game.
— Darran Marshall (@DarranMarshall) July 16, 2019
RTÉ pundit Joe Brolly took aim at the low viewing and questioned Paraic Duffy's rationale in reaching an agreement with Sky.
And we were told by Pauric Duffy the SKY deal was done for the benefit of UK Gaels... https://t.co/2YH00tYFud
— Joe Brolly (@JoeBrolly1993) July 16, 2019
Duffy said upon reaching a deal with Sky in 2014 that catering for GAA fans in the UK was part of their thinking in letting the broadcaster show their games.
“At the first meeting we had convened to set in motion the negotiations for the broadcast rights, Liam and I set down the objectives we hoped to achieve,” Duffy said.
“At the top of the list was the need to make our games accessible to Irish people living abroad. This issue of accessibility of our games on live TV has been, over the years, by far the single biggest issue raised with us when we spoke with our members outside Ireland.
“In planning our negotiations of these new contracts, the GAA felt that it had an obligation to Irish people living abroad to respond to their appeals on this issue. If for no other reason than the fact that many of them, while living at home, had contributed to the GAA and were now continuing that work in GAA clubs abroad.
“There are now 393 affiliated GAA clubs overseas, double the number of just a decade ago, spread across the world in Britain, America, continental Europe and Australia, in the Middle East and Asia. This is, in part, a reflection of the popularity of the GAA and in part a reflection of the sheer size of the Irish family abroad. This expanding Irish family was the new reality facing the GAA as it approached negotiations for new broadcast contracts.
“There are few, if any, people in this room today who have not had experience of the sorrow that emigration brings. The most painful separation is that caused by departing family and friends but there is also separation from one’s culture. I think it is fair to say that the GAA for many Irish people are an important part of the daily Irish cultural experience."