Waterford will charge to show club games online, says chairman Sean O’Regan

Kerry and Limerick have already confirmed the live streaming of their respective championships will be pay-per-view, with Cork and Clare yet to decide whether they will charge a fee.
Waterford will charge to show club games online, says chairman Sean O’Regan
Waterford county board chairman Sean O'Regan said club games will be behind a paywall. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

Waterford club games streamed live this year will be behind a paywall.

Waterford county board chairman Sean O’Regan says there is an appetite for county championship games to be streamed live when the action resumes in August and while the executive is still at an exploratory stage with regard to broadcasting their games, whatever fixtures are shown online will be behind a paywall.

Kerry and Limerick have already confirmed the live streaming of their respective championships will be pay-per-view, with Cork and Clare yet to decide whether they will charge a fee.

Waterford county board yesterday circulated to clubs their redrawn county championship program. Their traditional format comprising three groups of four has been replaced by four groups of three for both the Waterford SHC and SFC.

The groups are to be seeded, with last year’s four semi-finalists - in either code - kept apart. The top two in each group progress to the quarter-finals, all knockout fixtures will be winner on the day.

The revised structure largely mirrors the approach favoured by Kilkenny county board earlier this week, who have also plumped for four groups of three.

The main difference is the bottom-placed teams in the Kilkenny SHC group stage will advance to a preliminary quarter-final.

The Waterford SHC is provisionally scheduled to throw-in on August 1 and concludes four weeks later on August 30, a full fortnight before Liam Cahill’s Deise hurlers are permitted to return to collective training and seven weeks before the resumption of inter-county activity. The Waterford SFC will commence on the weekend of September 5/6.

On the possibility of Waterford county championship games being streamed live, chairman Sean O’Regan said: “It is not 100% confirmed that we will live stream games this year. If we can make it happen, we will. The wish is that we would have it happen this year, but it is not over the line yet.

“We had a couple of meetings on it over the last couple of weeks. We are looking at one or two proposals. There is definitely an appetite to explore it further and move forward with it. There most certainly would be a small fee.”

He added: “We will have a full county board meeting - online - on Monday night next to bring the clubs through the championship proposal and hopefully, we get approval.

We are very conscious that we have a lot of dual clubs and a lot of dual players, some of whom are involved with our county teams. The dual club is very strong in Waterford and long may that continue, but that does bring its own headaches.

"With this format, we have tried to avoid clashes. We will all work together and communicate regularly because these are unprecedented circumstances.”

Elsewhere, Mayo county board has confirmed there will be no change to their county championship structure for the condensed 2020 season.

The group stage of the 16-team Mayo SFC will commence on the weekend of August 8/9. The Mayo senior, intermediate, and junior football finals are fixed for September 18/19/20, affording James Horan an interrupted four-week period before inter-county activity returns.

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