Clare TD, Cathal Crowe with Clare hurler, Peter Duggan at a Clare GAA business breakfast.
CLARE TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) has called for the GAAGO streaming service to be scrapped.
GAAGO is a commercial company jointly owned by RTÉ and the GAA that has been in existence since 2014 and initially offered live coverage for those outside of Ireland.
However, last year saw them awarded exclusive rights to cover championship matches, following a deal that saw them and RTÉ awarded the rights to cover the All-Ireland championship up until 2027.
For the 2024 championship, GAAGO will stream 38 championship games including Clare’s second round Munster hurling championship game against Cork. Three of the four provincial games for the Rebels will be behind the streaming service. The price of a GAAGO season pass has remained at €79, with a discount of €10 if purchased before 31 December. Individual games will be €12 each or €24 for three.
GAA members will receive a 10% discount off the full season pass, GAA clubs can avail of a clubhouse rate and free access will continue to be made available to care-giving locations.
GAAGO has exclusive coverage of the four preliminary quarter-finals in the All-Ireland SFC and two of the quarter-finals. A new midweek review/preview show has also been confirmed for the platform.
In a statement to The Clare Echo, Deputy Crowe remarked, “I am of the view that the broadcasting of senior inter-county hurling and football games on pay-per-view television must be reviewed. Having our games behind a costly subscription service will ensure that many genuine GAA fans will not get to see their county play next season.
“It is time to abandon this pay per view service and ensure all fixtures are shown on a free to air basis. I believe the GAA and RTÉ have a cultural obligation to ensure that all of our Gaelic games are available to a maximum audience so participation across all codes can increase. We must try and reach as broad an audience as possible, whereas GAAGO will by definition restrict the audience to those who are following a particular county or a particular club,” the Meelick native stated.
He continued, “Last year, some of the titanic Munster championship clashes were behind a paywall, meaning very few people got to see them, including many of our senior citizens. If we want to continue to brand hurling as one of the great iconic identifiers of our country, as one of our great games played at a very high quality and at a very high level of professionalism, you have to reach out to as broad an audience as you possibly can in terms of profiling the game”.