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16th May 2024

TG4 reportedly wanted to bid for Championship matches before GAAGO deal


The GAA’s broadcasting row rumbles on as it is being reported that TG4 were eager to explore the opportunity of broadcasting live senior championship games before the rights were sold to GAAGO.

The GAA have since issued a statement to the Irish Independent claiming that this desire ‘was not relayed to us by the TG4 negotiating team.’

The GAA have also said that TG4 could not afford to bid for the games, claiming that ‘if we were prepared to give away our rights for free, then all parties, Virgin, RTÉ and eir would have been interested.’

It comes with TG4 maintaining that they would have considered the fee for the rights.

Prior to GAAGO, the GAA and Sky Sports’ had a broacasting partnership which ran up until October 2022, when they mutually agreed to part ways.

Soon after, the GAA announced a five year broadcast deal which gave RTÉ 31 live championship matches while GAAGO – a joint venture between the GAA and RTÉ – received 38.

In the GAA’s statement last night, the association said that it told TG4 that it would “accept bids on any of the packages on offer”.

“It is our understanding that TG4 did not have the financial resources to make an additional bid,” it read.

Having caused controversy last summer, due to a number of high profile games going to GAAGO exclusively, it’s been a case of deja vu this year. Cork-Limerick was seen by many as the game of the year so far but it was only on GAAGO and some politicians and former players alike have since criticised the arrangement.

However, Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gael Jarlath Burns has said that he sees GAAGO as having a big role in the future of the association.

“And I’m going to make no apologies for saying this Clare,” he said on the Clare Byrne show on Monday.

“I want GAAGO to become a major revenue generator for our association, because we need that money to upgrade our facilities.”