Motion to show all inter-county Championship games on free-to-air TV defeated at GAA Congress

The Annual Congress discussed the motion on Saturday in Carlow

Motion to show all inter-county Championship games on free-to-air TV defeated at GAA Congress

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

A motion to make all inter-county Championship games available on free-to-air television has been defeated at the Annual GAA Congress in Carlow. 

The motion would have seen commercial broadcasters, such as Sky who currently have a deal to show some Championship games, would not have been able to bid for the broadcasting rights. 

A number of representatives at the Congress spoke against the motion, including former president Nicky Brennan, who warned that it could contravene EU legislation, while others argued that the GAA should not 'tie its hands' in this regard. 

In late 2015, Kerry backed a move to bring the motion before the Congress, after which chairman Patrick Sullivan stated "You have to see how people in some parts of the country look at this. On the western seaboard it’s very different to Dublin, where the economic upturn has been a lot faster. The decision to deal with Sky was taken when money was continuing to get a lot tighter for people".

Reports that the viewing figures are not trending in the right direction may yet influence the bidding on the rights once the current contract with Sky ends, but the motion was comprehensively defeated on Saturday, with only 15.3% of the vote.

Earlier in the day, the Congress voted to approve the motion to introduce the 'mark' to the game, but ruled against making any changes to the date of the All-Ireland finals.