TG4 announce sponsorship extension for ladies' football Championship
TG4 have announced a four-year extension of their sponsorship of the ladies' Gaelic football inter-county championships, with the new deal set to last until the conclusion of the 2022 season.
TG4 have committed to screening 17 championship fixtures during the 2018 season, beginning on Saturday, July 14 and running until All-Ireland final day on Sunday, September 16, when the junior, intermediate and senior finals will be screened exclusively live.
Over the course of eight weekends, TG4 will bring viewers the very best action from the revamped senior championship, which will be played on a round-robin basis before the eight quarter-finalists are determined.
TG4 and the LGFA have also announced that a very special All-Ireland final preview show will be broadcast live from the Mansion House on the eve of the finals, Saturday, September 15.
This show will not just focus on the TG4 All-Ireland finals, however, and will serve as a wider celebration of women in sport, with this fast-paced and fully charged bilingual entertainment special set to feature a heady mix of music, celebration and entertaining discussion with some very special guests.
Speaking on behalf of TG4, Ardstiúrthóir Alan Esslemont said: “TG4 welcomes this opportunity to reaffirm our pride in our long and unique association with this great Irish sport.
“This combines sponsorship of the Championship with the role of TV broadcast rights holder in a multi-platform offering for followers of this now global sport.”
Marie Hickey, President of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, commented: “We are delighted to confirm the extension of our long-running partnership with TG4.
“With such a large overseas population to cater for, and huge interest in our sport across the globe, TG4’s ability to provide coverage to people located outside of Ireland is hugely important to us.
“Anyone who was fortunate to be present at Croke Park last September for the TG4 All-Ireland finals took home memories to last a lifetime.
“Now it’s time for even more people to show that they’re a #properfan as we get ready for the start of a new season.
“You can tune in to TG4’s linear coverage in Ireland and on the Player worldwide at www.tg4.tv”
The 2018 TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football championships were officially launched at Croke Park on Tuesday, with representatives from all 32 participating teams present at the venue which will host the 45th finals on September 16.
Holders Dublin will play their first qualifier game against Cavan on July 21, before facing Mayo on July 28, in what will be a repeat of the 2017 All-Ireland final.
Elsewhere, Cork will harbour hopes of regaining the title they last won in 2016 after claiming the TG4 Munster senior title.
In the West, Galway made it back-to-back Connacht senior titles and Donegal were most impressive on their way to Ulster glory.
The counties will follow a new route to Croke Park as four qualifier groups contain three teams in each.
Each team will play two games each in their respective groups and, from there, eight quarter-finalists will emerge.
The TG4 intermediate and junior championships will be keenly contested once again and will produce some cracking fare.
Tyrone, beaten All-Ireland finalists last year, won another Ulster title recently and will start as one of the favourites to land the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup.
They’ll face stiff opposition from a number of counties, however, including no fewer than seven Leinster representatives.
Roscommon, who claimed an historic Connacht title last month, will also fancy their chances of making an impact.
The TG4 junior championship will feature seven counties and London, who were beaten semi-finalists after extra-time against eventual winners Fermanagh last year, are a strong outfit and looking to go a step or two better. Derry, who lost the 2017 final replay to Fermanagh, are reigning Ulster champions and won’t lack in motivation either.
This is an extremely exciting grade and one worth keeping a close eye on.
Clare and Down have the privilege of getting the 2018 TG4 All-Ireland championships under way next Sunday, July 8, when they meet in a Group 3, round 1 clash in Kinnegad (2pm).