Cork GAA is the first county in the country to announce a free live streaming service for the 2020 club season.
Where other county boards have applied a subscription fee ranging from €2 to €10 per game, all Cork county championship games for 2020 will be live-streamed free of charge.
Cork GAA has partnered with the Irish Examiner to provide exclusive live streaming of football and hurling club championship games across all grades up to the end of 2022.
The deal guarantees live match coverage every championship weekend for GAA fans in Cork and further afield for the next three seasons.
Kevin O’Donovan, CEO of Cork county board, said the decision to provide a free live streaming service is “a great gesture from all parties involved in the partnership”.
He continued: “It is brilliant because so many spectators who would be loyal supporters of the game, who would always go for the live experience and would be there an hour beforehand, they may not get to see those games because of crowd restrictions.
"They would be the ones I’m most concerned with as we don’t want them missing out. So to have free-to-air quality games this year is brilliant.
“There are some very hot games on our championship program, and the hotter games will be broadcast, be it streaming with the Examiner or on TG4 and RTÉ.
"We targeted those games from the very start, the ones with the largest attendance. And then when the lockdown came, it was decided the ones with the largest queue outside the door would be broadcast, so we are really happy with that.”
The 2020 Cork county championship program throws-in this weekend, with the Irish Examiner providing live coverage of the Premier SFC clash between Ballincollig and St Finbarr’s at Páirc Uí Rinn on Friday evening.
Irish Examiner editor Tom Fitzpatrick said: “The Irish Examiner continues to provide unrivalled sports coverage and with this partnership, we add regular live streaming to our GAA match reports, analysis, and star columnists and writers.”
Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy welcomed this “timely” announcement given spectator tickets have been capped at 80 per game until at least August 10.
“This partnership is a great opportunity for our patrons to see games they might not be able to attend from the comfort of their own homes, and is particularly timely this year given the current limitations on spectator numbers.”
The Irish Examiner’s live streaming partnership with Cork GAA follows last season’s 2019 broadcast initiative on the Irish Examiner’s digital platforms when the Irish Examiner streamed live over a dozen club championship matches before bringing the Co-Op Superstore Munster SHL to GAA fans last winter.
The Irish Examiner will provide live coverage, via irishexaminer.com, of up to three matches over each club championship weekend during the 2020 season. The Irish Examiner will again have exclusive coverage in 2021 and 2022.
Meanwhile, Bons Secours Hospital Cork has come on board as the title sponsor of the 2020 Cork county football championships.
Tracey Kennedy said The Bons Secours hospital “has played a huge role in Cork life for many decades now, and it is truly fitting that two such strong Cork brands are coming together in this new partnership, especially this year as we launch our revamped county championship structure”.
Commenting on the launch, hospital manager Harry Canning remarked: “Bon Secours continue to display a commitment to the GAA throughout a variety of partnerships and we are delighted here in Cork to be part of this unique and exciting championship.”