McAvoy hails Ulster Championship TV deal as major boost for the fans
Ulster GAA provincial secretary Brian McAvoy has welcomed the fact that five matches in the forthcoming Senior Football Championship will be televised live.
Four of the games will be screened live on BBC NI, with full deferred coverage available of the other four ties.
"Ulster GAA are pleased that five of our eight games will be shown live on television, with the BBC showing four of them," says McAvoy.
"It promises to be a mouth-watering Championship given the intriguing nature of the draw. Two of the live games will be on a simulcast basis with RTÉ and two will be shown exclusively on the BBC. The BBC have also been granted rights to show deferred coverage of the four games they are not showing live."
But although three derby contests - Tyrone v Derry (Sunday, May 12), Cavan v Monaghan (Saturday, May 18) and Down v Armagh (Sunday, May 19) - will help to set the province's flagship competition in motion, fans will have to wait until Saturday, May 25 for their first helping of live action.
This will see Antrim oppose the winners of Tyrone v Derry, while the last quarter-final, Fermanagh v Donegal on Sunday, May 26, will also be shown live.
The second semi-final, which will see Tyrone/Derry/Antrim v Fermanagh/Donegal, will be screened live on Saturday, June 8 as will the final on Sunday, June 23.
The games which have been earmarked for deferred screening are the derby ties - Tyrone v Derry, Cavan v Monaghan, Down v Armagh - as well as the first semi-final on Sunday, June 2 which will see Cavan or Monaghan v Down or Armagh.
Once again this year, the live and deferred championship games can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer - on desktop, mobile or tablet devices and on smart TVs.
McAvoy stresses that Ulster Council officials had sought the best deal possible for followers.
"Ulster GAA have been working closely with broadcasters and Croke Park in relation to coverage of this year's Ulster Senior Football Championship," says McAvoy.
"The overall package will help enhance the profile of the Championship," he adds.