RTÉ looking to archives to fill void left by live sport

RTÉ are in discussions with the GAA and other sporting organisations to broadcast archive sporting material in the absence of live sports.

RTÉ looking to archives to fill void left by live sport

The shutdown across sports caused by the coronavirus has put all media outlets under pressure but RTÉ head of sport Declan McBennett said that he was hopeful of sports archive material coming on stream soon.

“The priority now is on news and public service,” said McBennett.

“The news department and current affairs are taking the lead on that, and that’s RTÉ’s primary role.

“There’s also a sense that the nation still needs to be entertained, and that sport will be part of that, coming to the fore in a couple of weeks through archive or, hopefully, through live sports.”

On archive material, McBennett cited the GAA as an example.

“We have access to material but you then enter a rights scenario, and Eir have the archive rights, so does the GAA.

“The GAA and TG4 are putting out some stuff at the moment but we’ve spoken to Croke Park and said we believe there’s an appetite for this and that it should be done.

“Croke Park is open to that and what they want is detail on proceeding.

We don’t really own archive rights but we have a treasure trove that’s second to none, essentially, and we have a group at the moment which is digging out matches, the best matches, that we can turn to when required.

McBennett added that there is also work going on in the soccer and rugby archives, with camogie, hockey, and other sports also in focus.

“We have international and domestic games in all sports, whatever we can get access to.

“The people who run the Champions League have this week cleared 10 classic matches which we could use, for instance.”

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