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BBC must clarify stance on live GAA coverage - Ennis

27 March, 2018 - by Sinéad Ennis

Sinn Féin sports, art and culture spokesperson Sinéad Ennis has asked the BBC to clarify its position in regards to the broadcasting of GAA games.

The South Down MLA was speaking following several meetings and correspondences with the BBC.

“Thousands of GAA fans are licence fee payers. They deserve parity of coverage with other sports in the BBC – something which is currently not the case,” Sinéad Ennis said.

“I received a letter from the BBC on the back of meeting with them to discuss the possibility of enhancing of their GAA coverage.

“At the meeting there was a discussion on the possibility of a radio phone-in show that would give GAA fans a platform to discuss their games, online streaming or highlight shows on TV and radio and the introduction of an extended mid-week highlight show.

“I feel these requests are reasonable and well within the BBC’s gift to develop.

“However, due to the tone of the letter I would fear that rather than protect and enhance the service currently available there may be plans to cut the live coverage.

“I would urge the BBC in all decisions to consider that the 250,000 members of the GAA in Ulster are de-facto stakeholders and any decision taken must be in their interests. Gaelic games deserve the profile which their popularity merits and the local viewing public deserve access to adequate GAA coverage. 

“I will be engaging with the BBC to ask that they work with their counterparts in RTÉ to ensure that GAA fans in the north are not further disenfranchised.” 

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