RTE committed to live broadcasts of Cup finals

RTE Sport chiefs have moved to assure GAA fans that there will be live coverage of the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Tommy Murphy Cup finals this summer.

None of those competitions were mentioned in RTE's GAA Championship Live Sunday Game coverage list, which was released last week.

Since the inception of all three competitions, the state broadcaster has broadcast all of the finals live, and there had been some concern among the competing counties that live TV coverage had been lost for this year.

However, RTE chiefs have stressed that it is just a matter of getting the logistics right at present, as there are a glut of fixtures over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

"We have been delighted to be involved with the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Tommy Murphy Cup competitions over the last couple of years," a senior RTE GAA source said.

"We will be covering the three competitions this year. We haven't finalised the details on exactly what we are doing yet regarding live coverage, etc. as it is a very busy weekend that weekend with the football qualifiers also.

"In fact we were live with all three fixtures over the last couple of years.

"It's a great stage for teams that don't have a chance usually to play at Croke Park to get to play in a final and also to be seen live on RTE television."

Last year there was concern when RTE failed to show the Dublin v Cork All-Ireland minor hurling semi-final live, after the game was switched from Croke Park to Portlaoise.

RTE had previously committed to showing both semi-finals from each of the minor championships live along with the finals in both codes, but a re-fixing of games owing to a fixtures backlog at Croke Park, meant that the historic Dublin-Cork encounter failed to receive live coverage.

Nonetheless, a highlights package was shown on 'The Sunday Game' night-time programme the following evening.

RTE are keen to stress that the minor games are an integral part of their GAA coverage.

"The minors are a huge part of the GAA calendar and I'm glad to see them back at Croke Park rather than being moved to elsewhere," the RTE source said.

"We will be covering the provincial finals in a highlights format this year and then when we get to the bigger stage of the semi-finals and finals we will be hoping to go live as in our schedule details released last week."

'The Sunday Game' celebrates its 30th year of transmission this summer and begins this afternoon with live coverage of the Leinster SFC opener between Longford and Westmeath at Pearse Park.

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