GAA GO, the digital streaming service for GAA matches, has unveiled its coverage plans for the 2024 championship season, encompassing a total of 38 matches.
The streaming platform will exclusively broadcast key encounters in the Sam Maguire Cup, Liam MacCarthy Cup, and Tailteann Cup, presenting a detailed breakdown of its programming.
The strategic allocation of matches includes 22 fixtures in the Sam Maguire Cup, 9 in the Liam MacCarthy Cup, and an additional 7 dedicated to the Tailteann Cup. Among the noteworthy matchups, the clash between Carlow and Kilkenny in the third round of the Leinster championship in May, as well as Kilkenny’s ensuing confrontation with Micheal Donoghue’s Dublin side, will be accessible solely through the GAA GO platform.
Nevertheless, the decision to place championship matches behind a subscription-based paywall has resurrected a previously contested issue. In the 2023 season, GAA GO faced reproach for exclusively broadcasting high-profile games for paying customers, thereby limiting access to significant matches for those without a subscription.
Former hurling luminary Dónal Óg Cusack has expressed reservations regarding the impact of this decision on the accessibility of hurling. In a statement provided to RTE, Cusack remarked, “The GAA is failing hurling by putting championship matches behind a paywall.” This sentiment echoes the sentiments articulated by eight-time All-Ireland winner Aidan Taggy Fogarty in the preceding season, who decried the prioritization of the app’s promotional objectives over the broader GAA audience.
See also: “An absolute disgrace” Aidan “Taggy” Fogarty speaks out on RTE not showing any live hurling matches of free-to-air television
The GAA stated last year that there would be a comprehensive review of GAA GO at the conclusion of the season, acknowledging the criticisms that were levied in the preceding year. The pricing structure for the current season encompasses a pay-per-game option at €12, a ‘3-for-2’ bundle deal priced at €24, and a 10% discount for GAA members on the full subscription cost of €79. GAA GO has also enlisted the services of recent inter-county retiree Richie Hogan as an analyst, thereby incorporating a seasoned voice into the platform.
As the championship season unfolds, the dynamics of the streaming landscape and its implications for GAA enthusiasts will be meticulously observed.