As Ireland’s largest sporting and cultural organisation, the GAA’s reputation as a national treasure precedes itself. Over 1 million people claim membership to the Association and local GAA club activity is the lifeblood of every village, town and city across the 32 counties of Ireland. However, in order to service this level of interest in our games, the Association’s Official GAA Broadcast Partners’ roles in providing extensive coverage of games to both the domestic and indeed international fan base (coverage provided to over 180 countries every year) throughout the 12 months of every year is critical. This coverage transcends TV, radio and digital platforms, is available on multiple devices at any time, and ensures Gaelic games continue to be the most watched sports in Ireland year after year.
Whether it is within a live, deferred, highlight or clip format, the GAA’s broadcast partners pride themselves in setting the sports broadcasting and presentation benchmark. The primary senior championship TV rights holders attract over 15,000,000 eyeballs during the months of May-September alone and are added to further by daily news features. Partners such as RTÉ TV & Radio, Sky Sports, GAAGO.ie, TG4, Setanta Sports, BBC TV & Radio, Newstalk, Today FM, News UK & Ireland and a host of local radio stations ensure in-depth commentary and debate is continuously brought to the GAA membership, often culminating in domestic TV audiences of over 1,500,000 for the marquee All-Ireland Finals each September. Significant marketing and promotional support is also executed by each partner to promote each of the 160 plus live TV games broadcast annually.
Croke Park Stadium, as an example, plays host to over 30 Official Broadcast Partners each year, not including international news media from all over the world. Each partner’s rigging, production and presentation teams are dispersed throughout the venue on match days and they can be found roaming between the Hogan Stand TV broadcast compound area, the Level 7 press and commentary box, pre and post-match interview rooms and, of course, multiple camera positions dotted around the stadium environs. The GAA continuously strives to bring the latest broadcast innovation to viewers, which regularly sees the introduction of pioneering transmission and analytics technology. On occasions, ‘simulcasting’ by a number of broadcasters occurs in order to meet demand and, ultimately, keep Gaelic games atop of people’s minds on the island of Ireland and around the globe.