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RTE Defends Broadcasting All Euro 24 Matches Amid Criticism Over GAA Championship Coverage on GAAGO

RTE Defends Broadcasting All Euro 24 Matches Amid Criticism Over GAA Championship Coverage on GAAGO

Euro 24As Euro 24 kicked off last night, RTE defended its decision to broadcast all 51 matches over the next month, despite not being able to show every All-Ireland game throughout the GAA season.

Some GAA championship matches are shown on the pay-per-view service GAAGO, a joint venture between RTE and the GAA.

RTE representatives explained that GAAGO and the national broadcaster cannot air all games. The controversy resurfaced as RTE began its comprehensive coverage of UEFA’s international soccer tournament, reigniting debate over high-profile GAA matches not being available on free-to-air TV.

Following a social media campaign promoting GAAGO subscriptions, fans expressed their frustration. One supporter commented: “The argument that RTE can’t show all the games goes out the window when you consider that they are televising all 51 games of the Euros in 30 days (up to three games a day) and Ireland aren’t even in the competition. So Georgia v Czechia is free-to-air, but I have to pay to watch Cork v Offaly.”

In response, RTE issued a statement to the Irish Mirror, defending its coverage choices. A spokesperson said: “The rights holders for each sporting body determine independently of broadcasters what rights are included in a package. UEFA sells their Euro 2024 package to include all matches at the tournament, hence RTE shows all matches. The GAA sells separate packages to broadcasters, hence the games are shown across RTE, GAAGO, and BBCNI.”

The GAAGO sale, launched on social media, prompted fans to purchase a €39 “mid-season pass,” promising access to 12 exclusive games from Championship 2024, including all four All-Ireland football preliminary quarter-finals and two All-Ireland football quarter-finals. The pass automatically renews at full price ahead of Championship 2025, with options to opt out at any time.

After Sky Sports ended its nine-year run of broadcasting GAA matches, GAAGO secured the rights in 2022 to exclusively broadcast 38 championship matches behind a paywall. Despite approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Virgin Media Television and other critics, including Tanaiste Micheal Martin, ex-GAA president Liam O’Neill, and the charity Age Action, have criticized the deal between the GAA and RTE.

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