Tyrone turned down TG4 in favour of streaming final
TYRONE GAA turned away live free-to-air coverage of Sunday’s senior football final on TG4 in favour of their own live streaming service, which they will charge viewers £16 to access.
The Irish News understands that the Irish-language broadcaster was rebuffed by Tyrone officials when they requested to show the Dromore-Coalisland tie.
The county previously accepted RTÉ’s request to show Dromore’s semi-final win over Trillick, but declined to put Coalisland’s win with Errigal alongside to meet the broadcaster’s request for a double-header.
The county’s streaming service is likely to generate more income for Tyrone county board than allowing broadcasters in to show games.
Their move is likely to cause consternation in Croke Park, whose agreement with TG4 is supposed to entitle them to show the Sunday club games of their choosing.
It’s believed that RTÉ had also made a tentative request about showing the final live but as their deal only applies to Saturday evening games, they were never likely to be given the decider.
Televised club games on TG4 typically attract an audience of between 80,000 and 100,000, while RTE hit up to 150,000 viewers.
Tyrone’s online streaming service has proved a success since it launched in 2018.
Armchair supporters in the county have this year been able to view every game at senior, intermediate, junior and in the hurling championship live.
It’s understood that significant numbers tuned in to watch last year’s decider which saw Dungannon overcome Trillick in a thrilling penalty shootout.
With only 500 allowed to attend that game, Tyrone GAA charged £10 to online spectators for last year’s final.
However, the price of watching this year’s final has risen to £16.
The county’s live stream of its 2019 decider, in which Trillick beat Errigal Ciaran, fell victim to a ‘cyber-attack’ which led to a blackout of coverage during the second half.
All viewers were refunded within 48 hours, the county board said at the time.
Meanwhile, SDLP councillor and Coalisland native Malachy Quinn has said the decision to charge U16 spectators £3 for entry to the game “gives the impression it’s all about the money”.
Quinn tweeted yesterday that he had emailed the county board but had “no response, or an acknowledgement”.
U16s have traditionally gone free to the vast majority of GAA games but charges have become more frequent across the country since the GAA effectively ended its own policy on that in recent years.
Tyrone GAA could did not respond to a request for comment.