OTT & Digital

GAA confirms Eir-RTÉ Saturday night lights rights deal

Gaelic football media rights partially shared between pay-TV and public broadcasters.

by Steven Impey

GAA confirms Eir-RTÉ Saturday night lights rights deal

Irish pay-TV service Eir Sport will remain the primary broadcaster for Gaelic football’s domestic media rights under Saturday night lights until 2022 – with four fixtures to air simultaneously on the public service broadcaster RTÉ.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the governing body for Ireland’s traditional sports, confirmed a three-season deal that also includes coverage of the All-Ireland Club Championships, which will be hosted on RTÉ and the Irish-speaking broadcast TG4.

“Eir Sport are delighted to continue to broadcast live and exclusive coverage of our national games during this year’s Allianz Leagues and up until 2022,” said managing director Susan Brady.

“We will offer GAA fans more matches and more choice on Saturday nights than anywhere else. We are delighted to have come to this agreement to give Irish sports fans the best possible choice and content.”

Coverage from Eir Sport, which has broadcast Saturday night Gaelic football since 2005, will also be available via its over-the-top (OTT) platform to the company’s broadband subscribers.

The broadcaster will host at least two games every weekend from the upcoming season’s opener on 26th January.

A full list of televised fixtures will be announced next week, the GAA confirmed, including the four fixtures selected for simulcast by RTÉ, which will host its own editorial, presentation and punditry over Eir Sport’s coverage.

“In increasing RTÉ's live coverage of Gaelic Games across the GAA calendar year, we are reaffirming our commitment to bringing national moments to a national audience, free-to-air and guaranteeing coverage on RTÉ television for nine months of the year for the next three years,” said Declan McBennett, RTÉ’s group head of sport.

Last May, the GAA signed a five-year deal with Allied Irish Banks (AIB) to extend a 27-year partnership until 2023 with the financial group, which currently sponsors the All-Ireland Club Championships. 

Peter McKenna, the GAA’s commercial and stadium director, said the latest deal with Eir and RTÉ matched with the growth in profile and interest of both the Allianz Leagues and AIB Club Championships

He added: “This enhanced arrangement with Eir Sport and RTÉ will ensure even greater exposure to our games for the foreseeable future."