A 32,000 average was recorded for their opening game — Kilkenny’s hammering of Offaly — with an average of 14,700 tuning into Dublin’s Leinster SHC win over Wexford.
But O’Neill insisted that the figures don’t tell the full story and he insists that the reaction abroad is hugely positive.
“It doesn’t take into account the people looking at it in HD, I think it doesn’t take into account the people in the pubs where they have Sky Sports.
“We were never that worried about the people in Ireland watching the game on Sky.
“It was for Britain we did the Sky deal and the numbers there are standing up very well. We have seen their Twitter reaction to it and we are getting anecdotal evidence from our clubs in Britain that it’s proving a huge success because they are now able to show, the parents of young people are trying to engage in schools, that this is the game and this is what it looks like,” added the GAA president, who was speaking in Galway where he launched the 100,000 Steps for Cormac, a charity event which will take place next month.
The walk, organised by former Galway All-Ireland winning captain Joe Connolly, aims to raise €100,000 for Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of suicide and self-harm.
The walk, which will involve GAA personalities from all over the country, is to commemorate his nephew Cormac Connolly, who died of an inoperable brain tumour three years ago at the age of 24.