The GAA, Sky Deal
The GAA has just signed a three year TV deal with Sky Sports to show a number of games over the next three years. Is this a good deal for the ordinary GAA supporter or is this a deal for the big wigs in GAA HQ. It has been an interesting week we have heard from both sides of the argument for and against. The first year of the deal will see some of the top Provincial games go from free to air to paid TV.
Can this deal really be all that bad for the GAA , who could argue with the exposure that the GAA will get from this deal , it will tap into already established markets and put the GAA into millions of homes every Saturday and Sunday for at least the next three years. It will also raise the profile of some of the GAA’s biggest names like Bernard Brogan of Dublin and Henry Shefflin of Kilkenny.
This won’t be a bad thing, look at the opportunities for the GAA‘s commercial department, In the last 12 months we have seen Dublin go from Vodafone to AIG in sponsorship and who knows after another 12 months maybe another county be they an established county or an up and coming county could make the same move and gain a major sponsor. I know the GAA will say this was not a motivation for the move but it could very well happen that a small county could gain big from this.
The GPA will be of course aware that this move will also impact some of their members to push for pay for play, it may not happen in the first 12 months but 2 years into this deal mark my words players will want a slice of cake and they may return to strike mode to force the GAA top brass into negotiations for better entitlements. Can the GAA handle this if it were to come to pass!!
The ordinary GAA supporter will feel hard done by but they have to look beyond the negative and see the positive of this move, not many amateur organisations get this sort of an offer now I do understand that at elite level the GAA is far from amateur but still 90% of the GAA is amateur from volunteers right through to players.
The GAA has always been slow to change right up to the 70s the Ban was enforced and that changed some people said “foreign sports” would never be played at Croke Park and that changed back in 2007. So for those of you that see this move to Sky as a bad thing I implore you to reserve judgement until after 2017.
Hand on heart how many of those people that have said in the last week that the GAA have left the ordinary fan down have Sky in their own homes with or without the sports package??
Cian Mc Gibney