BBC defend coverage of GAA after SF criticism

BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London
BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London

The BBC has defended its coverage of GAA and warned that “value for money” must be considered when it comes to sports broadcasting rights, after criticism from Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein MLA Sinead Ennis, speaking after the broadcaster announced a three-year deal to show live Irish League games, said: “It’s abundantly clear that the BBC have once again ignored the largest spectator sport on the island of Ireland by failing to include any further investment for coverage of GAA championship games including GAA club games which regularly attract some of the biggest attendances in the north.”

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: “Discussions about our GAA coverage are ongoing with relevant stakeholders.

“Sport rights are highly competitive and complex. And each situation is different. Value for money is a fundamental consideration in all of this, taking account of our responsibility to provide a broad mix of output.”

The BBC also highlighted its live TV coverage this year of four GAA games spread across both traditional broadcasting and their iPlayer service, as well as deferred coverage of another four.