Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin raises concerns about BBC's GAA coverage

Sinn Féin has complained about the BBC's coverage of gaelic games

SINN Féin has complained that the BBC's coverage of the GAA does not reflect the popularity of games.

The party's sport spokeswoman Sinéad Ennis is seeking a meeting with BBC Northern Ireland's head of sport to discuss how the corporation's coverage can be improved.

The South Down MLA said the coverage "remains a source of huge frustration".

"In particular the latter stages of the Championship, including the All-Ireland final which is beamed to millions around the world, are not broadcast by the BBC here," she said.

"I believe that is a huge disservice to the many Gaels and sporting fans who want to see such showpieces on terrestrial television.

"And while we understand there are restrictions caused by the broadcasting deal with RTÉ and Sky TV, many people in the north do not have access to either of these stations, so more must be done to explore the options around live and deferred coverage and highlights programmes."

The BBC can broadcast live any Ulster Championship match selected for live broadcast by RTÉ, including the Ulster Final.

However, the corporation does not have the rights to televise games in the qualifiers or All-Ireland stages, including the All-Ireland Final.

A spokesman for BBC Northern Ireland said: "BBC Sport NI is committed to bringing local audiences a range of sports".

"We constantly review our output, looking at new and innovative ways to invest in our coverage across all our platforms - within the highly competitive context of sports rights while also ensuring we provide value for money," he said.

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