Kerry GAA chiefs want to negotiate directly with TV companies

Board officials were criticised in some quarters for rejecting an offer from TG4 - via the GAA - to televise Sunday’s East Kerry-Dr Crokes SFC final.

Kerry GAA chiefs want to negotiate directly with TV companies

Kerry chairman Tim Murphy says counties should be allowed to negotiate live coverage deals directly with TV companies.

Murphy revealed that individual boards 'do not deal with TV companies directly' with broadcasters working with Croke Park.

Board officials were criticised in some quarters for rejecting an offer from TG4 - via the GAA - to televise Sunday’s East Kerry-Dr Crokes SFC final.

That decision was reached after Kingdom chiefs noted a sharp fall in the attendance at the quarter-final double-header which was shown live on RTE.

It was reported two years ago counties would receive €5,000 from Croke Park to compensate for the loss of gate receipts from match broadcasts. However Murphy feels that boards should have a greater say in how much they are paid given the potential loss of supporters attending big games.

He also revealed that Kerry are examining the possibility of "streaming live big games ourselves".

“It was not a decision that we took lightly and at the start I was contemplating giving the go-ahead,” said Murphy.

“But eventually TV revenue was never going to compensate for the loss of revenue Kerry GAA would suffer.

“What people out there do not realise is that we do not deal with TV companies directly.

If the game is broadcast, we get the money from Croke Park, which would cover less than 300 paying spectators through the turnstiles.

"When we built Currans (Kerry's Centre of Excellence) we promised the clubs that they would never be levied for any outstanding debt and so to forego €40,000 on Sunday last would not have been a sound commercial decision.”

To ensure the wider Kerry community gets to watch the county final, Murphy said they might consider streaming it themselves.

“I am acutely aware of the fact that some people cannot get to games and we have emigrants in all parts of the globe so I will be bringing it up with Croke Park at the end of the month that for county finals, at least, we should be allowed to negotiate directly with the TV companies.

“Failing that, we are in discussions about streaming live big games ourselves so everyone would have an opportunity to watch.

"Whether we have to charge for this service or not is up for discussion.”

Meanwhile, former Austin Stacks chairman Liam Lynch will become Kerry’s new development officer, replacing Eamon Whelan, who is lined up as the county’s next vice-chairman. Former county chairman Patrick O’Sullivan is to take over from John Joe Carroll as Central Council delegate with Carroll and former county treasurer Dermot “Weeshie” Lynch vying for the Kerry candidacy for the Munster Council treasurer position.

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