'The argument is a bit ridiculous' - The GAAGO paywall debate

GAAGO and paywalls have been raised again by Taoiseach Simon Harris who described the issue as “very important”
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.36 4 Jul 2024

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'The argument is a bit ridicul...

'The argument is a bit ridiculous' - The GAAGO paywall debate

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.36 4 Jul 2024

Share this article

People need to 'move on' from the debate around GAAGO and paywalls, a Lunchtime Live caller has said.

Taoiseach Simon Harris has described the issue of paywalls as “very important” and urged the GAA to “please listen to the grassroots” on the matter.

Currently, 38 Championship matches are aired on the GAAGO streaming platform, set up by the GAA and RTÉ, which costs €79 for a season pass.


Lunchtime Live caller Conor said he doesn't think matches should be free-to-air.

"It's just not something I agree with - it's something I have moved on [from].

"On occasions when I need to watch a match I will pay happily the €12 for it.

"You would love everything to be free, who wouldn't, I'd love to stick on RTÉ with my dodgy aerial and get everything for free - but it just simply doesn't work like that".

'I think it's great'

Conor said the organisation needs to make money somehow.

"They're not robbing people," he said.

"Paying €12 for a game that you will not see on TV or that you cannot go and see, or you'd have to travel to Thurles or something like that, is ridiculous.

"Pay €12 to sit with your whole family and watch that game that you want to watch? I think it's great".

Conor said the reach to the global diaspora is also something to be considered.

'So many games available'

Sports journalist Mortimer Murphy told the show not every game can be shown.

"I think the argument is a bit ridiculous right now," he said.

"We have never had so many games available to us, it's impossible obviously to show all the games.

"There has to be a commercial element to it."

Mr Murphy said money is needed from GAAGO to produce the content.

"In an ideal world we would see all the games for free but that's not possible," he said.

"If you look at it it takes money to produce the content that you get.

"The only crib I have with GAAGO is that in certain areas, in rural areas, particularly here in Kerry you can't get adequate broadband or WiFi.

"Unlike Sky, which is a satellite system, this come through the internet - so if you haven't internet you don't have GAAGO".

TV licence and GAAGO

Joe said he disagrees with the whole concept of GAAGO.

"They're running off the RTÉ platform as it is... there's enough channels on RTÉ to feed all the games in," he said.

"I pay a subscription for Sky - a basic subscription - and I pay the TV licence.

"So why do I have to then pay on top of that another €12 per game to watch a GAA match?"

Pat in Mullingar said he doesn't understand the criteria for paywall games.

"You shouldn't have to pay a special rate to watch a game," he said.

"Just take Dublin and Galway last week... it wasn't televised but the next day the other quarter finals were free-to-air.

"You pick one and you pick the other and you leave one out: where are you going?"

Pat added that if a game isn't shown on GAAGO people "living up in the mountains" just won't see it.

Listen back here:

Main image: GAAGO branding on an interview backdrop in Cavan, 13-5-23. Image: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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