Daly calls for all major GAA games to be broadcast on free-to-air TV: Events like Special Olympic games should also be shown on RTÉ

Fianna Fáil Kerry Senator Mark Daly, has called on Minister Pat Rabbitte to ensure all major GAA games are kept on free-to-air TV into the future.

Senator Daly was speaking as the Government begins a review process of which sporting and cultural events should be shown on free-to-air TV over the next 3 years.

“The recent announcement of a deal between the GAA and SKY for 14 pay-per-view games came as a shock to many with the GAA community throughout Kerry. It has led to genuine fears that the GAA may move towards selling more and more of its broadcasting rights to pay-per-view networks. 

“People in Kerry should be afforded the right to watch the national game free of charge on the national broadcaster and people should use this opportunity to let Minister Rabbitte know that they want our national games and their amateur ethos protected.

“Fianna Fáil is calling for all major GAA games involving the Kerry footballers to be listed as designated events, which would be protected and shown free-to-air. At the moment only the All-Ireland Finals are protected under the current legislation. Many people cannot travel to inter-county games due to prohibitive costs, illness or lack of adequate rural transport. RTÉ is often the only medium by which they can watch games and we need to protect this for thousands of people all over Kerry. 

“I would also encourage people to make submissions for lesser-known sporting and cultural events which may not be shown at all or on a limited basis. I was disappointed that RTE, for instance, didn’t broadcast the very successful Special Olympics Ireland games, which took place last weekend in Kerry. Over 1,500 athletes took part in the games, but RTÉ failed to show any live coverage of the event.

“The submission process is a chance for sporting bodies and cultural groups throughout Kerry to influence Government policy and I sincerely hope Minister Rabbitte gives every submission its due consideration. 

“Submissions can be made by email to majorevents@dcenr.gov.ie. Closing date is Friday August 1.”

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