Echo letter: Let ALL Cork GAA fans see Munster clash

The Cork v Waterford hurling showdown this weekend can only be seen on Sky: Is that fair to fans?
Echo letter: Let ALL Cork GAA fans see Munster clash

BIG GAME: But the Cork v Waterford match is not being shown live on terrestrial TV this weekend

IN view of the fact that the country, and that includes the entire counties of Cork and Waterford, is now in Covid Level 5 virtual lockdown, could I appeal to the GAA to make a change to its television coverage for the Munster Hurling Championship?

On Saturday at 3.30pm in Semple Stadium in Thurles, Cork are playing Waterford in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final.

If the present arrangements persist, this game will not be available on what is termed ‘terrestrial TV’ — in other words, tens of thousands of homes will not be able to view the game live.

I am well aware of the various deals and packages of broadcasting rights which the GAA make available to RTÉ, TG4, Sky and other channels. Last year, for instance, the same fixture in the Munster championship was available only on Sky.

That was then — this is a different year. In 2019, any hurling fans that were not in Thurles and who hadn’t got Sky simply went to a club, pub, hotel, family member, friend or neighbour’s house to view the match.

Because of the Level 5 regulations this year, we are being warned that such movements are completely out of the question.

I know TV channels pay the GAA big money for broadcasting rights, but surely in these unprecedented times the Association should be cognisant of the situation in the country. Instead of practically ‘encouraging’ mass movements of Cork and Waterford fans next Saturday — thus spreading Covid — I would ask the GAA to immediately go back to the different broadcasters and come up with a solution whereby everyone that wants to see this game live can do so.

John Arnold, Bartlemy, Co Cork

A spokesman for Sky said: The game will be available to anyone who has Sky through Sky Sports Mix, it is not just Sky Sports subscribers who can watch the game.

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