Has RTÉ’s 1916 anniversary spend put Après Match at risk?

Has RTÉ’s 1916 anniversary spend put Après Match at risk?

The Après Match team are currently touring the country with their live stage show, but football fans may see less of the group than expected on their TV screens this year.

With Ireland through to the European Championship finals in France this summer, fans presumed the comedy trio of Gary Cooke, Risteárd Cooper and Barry Murphy would be rounding off the sports coverage in their own inimitable style.

But that may not be the case.

In an interview with the Limerick Post, Cooke said there was no guarantee they would be part of the RTÉ coverage.

“With a lot of funds going into 1916 commemoration and the Olympics, they are a big financial drain this year,” Cooke said. “We’re not quite sure what we are doing yet.”

This will not be good news for the many fans the group have accumulated since their first broadcast 20 years ago.

This is what we could be missing out on this summer. Video from RTÉ sport.

For many, Cooke and his colleagues are as integral a part of Ireland’s soccer coverage as the actual pundits they lampoon.

Cooke believes that is down to Irish audiences being more familiar with their commentators than audiences in England and elsewhere. He thinks the likes of Eamon Dunphy and Johnny Giles are more relaxed and chatty and so audiences feel they know them better.

“The pundits don’t go on as long and they don’t get into areas of life that Dunphy does!” he said.

“When you are doing a tournament you are a hostage to fortune, to a degree, like living in Eamon Dunphy’s slipstream really. He is the gift that never stops giving.”

Breakingnews.ie contacted RTÉ about Cooke's remarks. A spokesperson said: “It's too early to make any comment on our Euro 2016 programming, an announcement will be made in due course.”

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