THE live streaming of club games during the early stages of lockdown helped fill a void.
Cork supporters, unlike the rest of the country, didn’t have to dip into their bank accounts for the joy of watching their own community in action.
The Irish Examiner paid for the privilege, last year, this season, and again in 2022 in a three-year deal.
They were out in force against last night, broadcasting Mark Coleman in action against Aidan Walsh in the Blarney-Kanturk game in senior A hurling.
And they’ll have cameras tonight, too, at the St Finbarr’s-Erin’s Own game in premier senior with the three Cahalanes, Damien, Conor, and Jack, on display along with Billy Hennessy, Brian Hayes and Ben Cunningham.
These games proved very popular with the diaspora, Seanie in Sydney, Zoe in Zurich and Bob in Boston, particularly when watching their own clubs.
However, instead of logging on to see how the lads back in the parish are doing, they’re now restricted to what the Examiner are showing.
But, the withdrawal of permission for clubs doing their own thing struck a nerve recently with county CEO/Sec, Kevin O’Donovan, addressing the issue at the monthly board meeting.
“The situation is as follows,” he said. “Everyone knows we never had streaming of our games, though, of course, we had videos for analysis.
If we allow videos of all our games it’s going to hurt our attendances and we urgently need to have numbers attending games back to what they were.
“The Examiner do own the rights, but it was the county executive who made the decision.
“We know all the pros and cons and people say we should be setting up television stations and so on, but let’s be clear the Examiner have the rights for the county championships in a lucrative three-year deal.
“As an act of good faith they allowed videoing of games last year, when attendances were restricted and now those attendances are no longer restricted, so we feel those streaming should cease.
“People have come forward with ideas and we will look at those, but only in the context of when the Examiner deal finishes next year.
“The Examiner didn’t put any pressure on to enforce the terms and we just want people to go back to watching games again.
“We could ask them to stream more games and clubs could also set up their own channels and charge for those games. We acted in good faith. The Examiner give a great service,” O’Donovan explained.
The second round of round-robin games across all five grades in hurling continue today and tomorrow.
The lower intermediate championship doesn’t have the same pressures as it will next year, when the competition is scrapped and hurling will resemble football with four categories.
It will mean eight clubs reverting to junior at the end of the 2022 season with 16 teams at intermediate A level for the following season.
Cork have launched their Rebels Rising Premium Seat offer for Páirc Ui Chaoimh for the next 10 years.
There are two categories, Centre Field Offer, sections 205-208 for a one-off payment of €6,500 on or before January 30 next year and a ‘Half Forward’ offer, sections 202-204 and 209-211, priced at €5,000 in the same time period.
Premium seats guarantee your seat for all GAA games at the venue and entry to all county championship games at every venue.
In addition, you can buy seats for concerts, all other sporting events, Munster senior finals involving Cork outside of Páirc Ui Chaoimh and All-Ireland senior semi-finals and finals when Cork are playing.
Further information can be had from Commercial Director Sinead O’Keeffe at email@example.com or 087 2609961 or at www.gaacork.ie/premiumtickets/.
Meanwhile, well-known Sports Psychologist Canice Kennedy is organising a five-week course on the role of sports psychology in sports coaching on Monday nights for an-hour-and-a-half starting this Monday at 8pm.
Week 1 is an introduction to Sports Psychology and this is followed by Confidence in Sport on week 2, Competition Concentration, Mental Toughness and Performance Coaching in subsequent weeks.
The cost is €50 and further information can be had from firstname.lastname@example.org.