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GAA chief Duffy holds firm over deal with Sky Sports

 

By Colm Keys

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy insists his views on the broadcast partnership with Sky Sports haven't changed since his report to the 2015 Congress when he outlined the need for the association to keep its options open on the issue.

Speaking at the launch of the All-Ireland hurling championships in Glynn-Barntown club in Wexford, Duffy also pointed to the overwhelming vote against restricting the TV rights to free-to-air television only at Congress in 2016.

He was responding to questions about the comments of RTÉ hurling analyst Michael Duignan describing the broadcast of the Waterford/Kilkenny hurling qualifier on pay-per-view TV as a "disgrace" because so many didn't get to see it.

In 2015, Duffy pointed out that "any restriction that prohibits the GAA from engaging with all interested parties, including subscription TV providers, would seriously reduce our negotiating power and thus our ability to achieve the true worth of our assets, and would inevitably lead to a greatly reduced media-rights income."

Duffy did not reveal if there was contact with RTÉ over Duignan's comments and said that he would leave it to journalists to discuss the irony of an RTÉ analyst making such comments on the station's flagship GAA programme.

"We have an ongoing debate with RTÉ on a range of issues from time to time.

"We'll just leave it at that," Duffy stated.

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