Kerry backs Dublin call for free-to-air GAA matches

Dublin can count on Kerry’s support in their call for all live televised championship games to be made available free to air.

Kerry backs Dublin call for free-to-air GAA matches

County chairman Patrick O’Sullivan confirmed they will back the Dublin motion to implement a rule prohibiting the GAA from negotiating exclusive broadcasting rights with pay-per-view companies.

Clare and Donegal are at least two other counties who are expected to back the proposal, which, if passed, will come into operation from 2017 when the next round of media rights commence.

At their annual convention in December, Kerry club delegates wholeheartedly endorsed a Beale club motion which stated “at the conclusion of the current TV broadcast rights contract, that all televised games be available on free-to-air TV”.

That included league matches, some of which are currently televised by Setanta Sports, but O’Sullivan has confirmed they are in agreement with Dublin’s recommendation that pertains to championship fixtures only.

“We passed a motion that all games should be free to air for the sake of people who have given a lifetime of service to the GAA and can’t go to matches. The main difference between our motion and Dublin’s is theirs is put into the form of a rule and ours was put out of order (as it wasn’t a rule) but the principle is the same as Dublin’s.

“Dublin are creating a new rule and we as a county would be supporting their motion, based on our county board meeting last week. We’re representing the club and this is the direction we are taking.”

One motion Kerry will strongly oppose is Armagh’s call to do away with special eligibility provisions for hurling, which would in future prevent the likes of Clare’s Patrick Kelly declaring for the Kingdom.

“Over the last couple of years, we as a county have been proactive so that we are in a position to compete and the rule has been of a big benefit to us,” said O’Sullivan.

“We’ll be going against the motion. There is benefit in what we have in the rule when you can pick up a couple of players who can strengthen your squad and make your team more competitive. We would see the rule as having assisted us in improving our hurling. Our inter-county team are now in Division 1B, have the Leinster qualifying group in a few months’ time and the standard of our game is going up. Everything is positive.”

Kerry will be endorsing the rules advisory committee motion that reinforces a stand they, with the Munster Council, took in November to nominate Killarney Legion to represent the county in the provincial senior football championship despite their own championship not having concluded.

O’Sullivan stated: “There was fierce confusion last year and people turned around and said we were wrong and that Dingle should have represented Kerry. The finding that was agreed by the Munster Council and the Kerry County Board was agreed in principle by the association. The motion further enables what was decided at the time.”

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