Sinn Féin bring GAA coverage campaign to BBC and RTÉ

Sinn Féin's Culture, Arts & Sport spokesperson Sinéad Ennis on her way to present a letter to the BBC & RTÉ, alongside members of Ógra Shinn Féin. Picture by Hugh Russell
Áine Quinn

SINN Féin has called the BBC and RTÉ to provide more coverage of GAA Championship games and to end geo-blocking of sport events for viewers in the north.

The party's culture, arts and sports spokesperson Sinéad Ennis and members of Ogra Shinn Féin delivered a letter to BBC NI headquarters in Belfast yesterday.

In April the BBC said it intended to cut coverage of the 2018 GAA Ulster Championship, from seven live games to two, meaning that this year could see the fewest number of Ulster GAA games screened since 1990.

Ms Ennis said they met with the BBC's Head of Sports Programming to urge them to do more to ensure the "250,000 Gaels in the north are not unfairly disadvantaged."

RTÉ also restricts the access of many viewers, through geo-blocking.

Ms Ennis, in launching the Fair Play for Ulster Gaels campaign, said there was an onus on broadcasters to address inequalities.

SDLP's Justin McNulty, is also set to meet with senior representatives of RTÉ over concerns about coverage in Northern Ireland.

Mr McNulty, who was a member of the Armagh All-Ireland winning team in 2002 said: “RTÉ is our national broadcaster and at this time of year, in the thick of the GAA Championship season, many homes tune into RTÉ every weekend for game coverage and of course the Sunday Game.

“However, people are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of coverage of GAA games available, especially those involving Ulster teams."

A spokesman for BBC NI said while it wanted to broadcast all the Ulster Championship games live it was "restricted by what is available to us from the rights holder and by partnership agreements with other broadcasters".

"We also outlined our plans to try and secure enhanced levels of coverage for this summer and moving forward," he added.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: