Cork GAA clubs will be able to live stream their championship games for as long as the outdoor crowd limit remains at 200.
The Irish Examiner, which earlier this week entered a three-year partnership with Cork GAA to provide live streaming of club championship games up to 2022, has agreed to waive its rights to the exclusive live streaming of Cork club fixtures until such time as the crowd limit extends beyond 200 people.
The Irish Examiner has committed to live streaming up to three games each championship weekend, but with close to 30 Cork county championship games down for decision on each of the next three weekends, and only 80 spectator tickets available per game, many supporters will not be able to see their clubs in action.
This waiving of rights by the Irish Examiner means clubs will be able to stream their games live, making them accessible to those unable to acquire a match ticket.
Clubs have been told by the county board they cannot charge viewers when live streaming games.
A note to Cork clubs tonight from Cork GAA CEO Kevin O'Donovan read: “Cork GAA would like to thank the Irish Examiner for this kind gesture. Once the current government guidelines around outdoor gatherings are eased, the restriction on clubs streaming games will be restored and usual regulations will apply."
Said Irish Examiner operations director Michael Sheehan: “In the spirit of the partnership agreement we entered into with Cork GAA, and with an understanding of the difficulties that the current restrictions pose to GAA followers, we are happy to support this initiative in the knowledge that more people will now be able to enjoy live GAA action.”
In other counties, several clubs have come together with the intention of showing games separate to those broadcast by their county boards.
Mark Landers, on this week’s Irish Examiner GAA podcast, pointed out the likelihood of clubs having to receive the green light from county boards for those broadcasts.
“It will be an interesting situation. Those clubs wouldn’t be making any money, they wouldn’t be charging their patrons to watch those games. But the county boards might have an issue."
He also welcomed the deal that will see Cork matches broadcast for free this year on the Irish Examiner.
“I’ll be interested in looking at the numbers watching games over the next month. It’s a tenner in Tipperary, a fiver in Waterford, and zero in Cork. The numbers are going to speak."
The County Board also pointed out tonight that club games cannot be streamed at the same time that the Irish Examiner is contracted to stream a live game.
As is the current situation, clubs wishing to stream games must request permission from the Cork County Board.
"Normal procedures around agreement from host clubs and opposition must be followed," it added.