Northern Ireland news

Joe Brolly defends move to eir Sport

Joe Brolly has defended his move to eir Sport. File picture by Matt Bohill

GAA pundit Joe Brolly has defended his decision to become an analyst with eir Sport, saying he does not want to be "howling in the wilderness" against subscription sport services.

The barrister had previously been a strong critic of the GAA's link with commercial sports broadcaster, Sky.

The Derry 1993 All-Ireland winner was dropped from RTÉ's punditry team last year.

Eir Sport is free to viewers in the Republic who have eir broadband.

Other customers have to pay a subscription to access the service.

Brolly (50) told The Irish News on Tuesday that his opinion on subscription services had changed.

“I made those arguments 10 years ago and they have been completely rejected by the GAA,” he said.

Brolly said he was conscious that people’s viewing habits have altered.

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“My kids don’t watch television. They watch videos on YouTube,” he said.

He added: “The GAA has its own subscription model through GAAGO.

"You can end up howling in the wilderness and I don’t want to be that man.

"I have to accept that there has been a change."

Brolly said he had researched Eir Sport's market.

“They’ve got over 600,000 viewers who have free access through their broadband package," he said.

“It’s a fair viewership and I am sure of the fact that this is the way things are going."

Eir Sport will show 15 matches - ten football and five hurling - in the national league.

Brolly is expected to make his eir Sport debut on January 25 when All-Ireland champions Dublin take on Kerry.

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