No live coverage of Dublin-Wexford replay

Next Sunday's Leinster SHC semi-final replay between Dublin and Wexford (Croke Park, throw-in 4pm) has not been granted live TV coverage, it has emerged.

Despite RTE showing clashing games live on two occasions last year, the new agreement does not allow this according to the Leinster Council.

"The new TV negotiations this year ensured there wouldn't be a clash of live TV games," a Leinster Council spokesman said.

"With the entry of TV3 into the market, none of the rights holders are allowed to broadcast games which would clash with other live GAA transmissions."

However, there may be a snag in the agreement.

For instance if TV3 do not have the rights to cover a live game  such as in the case of last Sunday where RTE broadcast the Connacht SFC semi-final between Galway and Leitrim, and the Leinster SHC semi-final involving Kilkenny and Offaly live.

If a replay had been fixed for last Sunday to clash with those fixtures, there may have been a possibility that it could have been broadcast on RTE 1 as the clashing games would have been on two channels of the same broadcaster.

Ulster football fans were angered already this summer when the BBC was not allowed show the initial Tyrone-Down Ulster SFC quarter-final live.

RTE Two were showing the Cork-Tipperary Munster SHC tie the same day, while TV3 had exclusive live rights for the Dublin-Louth Leinster SFC quarter-final.

In a statement on the BBC website, 'The Championship' presenter Austin O'Callaghan explained that the BBC would have loved to have broadcast the game live, but that contractual reasons denied them from showing what turned out to be the first drawn game of the summer's championships.

"The BBC is very keen to show the game live but the television contract simply does not allow us to do so," O'Callaghan said.

"The GAA's Primary TV rights holders for the football and hurling championships are RTE and TV3. The BBC is a secondary rights holder.

"This means we can show the same game live in the Ulster championship simultaneously with RTE - or in the case of the Ulster final, with TV3.

"But we cannot go 'head-to-head' with either broadcaster when they're broadcasting a different, non-Ulster championship game at the same time."

However, to further complicate matters, the BBC have already shown live, on two occasions this year, games which have clashed with other live GAA TV transmissions.

Last Sunday's Armagh-Cavan Ulster SFC quarter-final was broadcast live on BBC2, up against the latter stages of Offaly-Kilkenny in the Leinster hurling championship and the majority of the Galway-Leitrim Connacht SFC semi-final.

The Beeb had previously clashed with RTE when they showed Antrim-Cavan live in the Ulster football championship, on the same day the southern broadcaster showed the Wicklow v Kildare and Galway v Roscommon football games.

RTE also earned the wrath of GAA supporters earlier this month by failing to broadcast the Offaly-Westmeath Leinster SFC quarter-final live, and instead showing a Euro 2008 group game.

But the BBC and RTE are allowed show games head-to-head, with a special dispensation given to fledgling station TV3, when they are showing live games.

As a new broadcaster entering the market, TV3 have been given a leg up by the GAA, who have ensured that games broadcast by RTE and the BBC do not clash with the commercial station.

Whatever game TV3 are showing live, regardless of province or code, neither RTE or the BBC broadcasters can go up against them.

This is to ensure that TV3 can establish itself as a new channel for watching Gaelic Games, and this practice is not uncommon amongst broadcasting contracts for various sports across the world.

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