RTE have explained why they will not be showing either of the All-Ireland football quarter-finals this Sunday. Cork v Kildare, Croke Park, 2pm & Donegal v Kerry, Croke Park, 4pm
In what is believed to be a first in – certainly in a number of years – the state broadcaster has released a statement in relation to this weekend’s bumper schedule of GAA action, adding that figures in RTE chose the Dublin and Laois fixture as the pick of the weekend’s games.
According to the Irish Examiner, figures within both TV3 and Croke Park were surprised when RTE decided to select the Dub’s clash with neighbours Laois on Saturday evening over the Donegal and Kerry game on the Sunday, which has been labelled by many as the most enticing of the four quarter-finals.
As per their contractual agreement with the GAA, RTE have the first three choices from the six All-Ireland football and hurling quarter-finals, with TV3 given the fifth and sixth picks respectively.
However, having opted to broadcast both of the All-Ireland quarter-finals in Thurles last Sunday, RTE were then entitled to select what they perceived to be the best of the four football games, of which they deemed the Saturday evening fixture to be so.
Naturally, TV3 were surprised yet elated at the decision, with the fellow broadcaster choosing to show both the Donegal v Kerry and Cork v Kildare games, leaving RTE with no option but to choose the final quarter-final pairing between Mayo and Down to complete their agreement.
“As per the broadcasting rights contract with the GAA, a number of quarter-final fixture choices are available to television broadcasters at this stage of the Championships,” the statement from RTE read.
“Following the draw on Saturday night, RTE along with other broadcasters exercised the options available to them under the contract. RTE chose the options which permit us to broadcast Dublin v Laois and Mayo v Down games this coming weekend.”
“These matches will both take place on Saturday and so while there will be no live games on RTE Television this Sunday, The Sunday Game night time programme will continue to be broadcast on RTE Two, featuring highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s GAA action,” it added.