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Sinn Féin urge BBC to enhance GAA coverage

7 February, 2018 - by Sinéad Ennis

Sinn Féin is urging the BBC to explore what steps it can take to ensure it provides enhanced coverage of GAA fixtures, particularly the latter stages of the All-Ireland Championship.

The party’s Culture, Arts and Sport spokesperson Sinead Ennis MLA is seeking a meeting with the Head of Sport at Broadcasting House to discuss what can be done to improve the availability of GAA coverage.

The South Down MLA said: “I have written to the BBC seeking discussions on this issue because it remains a source of huge frustration that the extent of BBC coverage does not reflect the popularity of the GAA.

“In particular the latter stages of the Championship, including the All-Ireland final which is beamed to millions around the world, are not broadcast by the BBC here.

“I believe that is a huge disservice to the many Gaels and sporting fans who want to see such showpieces on terrestrial television.

“And while we understand there are restrictions caused by the broadcasting deal with RTE and Sky TV, many people in the North do not have access to either of these stations, so more must be done to explore the options around live and deferred coverage and highlights programmes.

“I will be asking the BBC to exhaust all these options and, if necessary seek new talks with RTE and Sky, because Gaelic games deserve the profile which their popularity merits and the local viewing public deserve access to adequate GAA coverage.”

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