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Jack Anderson: GAA’s next director general must put values o

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-01-12

The future of TV sport, especially amongst the young, may not be Sky. It will be online, writes Jack Anderson.

Jack Anderson: GAA’s next director general must put values o slots and games casino

Yesterday was supposed to be the closing date for applications for the GAA’s director general post.

Confusion as to whether the chief officer of Ireland’s largest voluntary and sporting body needed a business degree meant the deadline has been extended.

That acute embarrassment aside, what will be the priorities of Paraic Duffy’s successor?

Although no credible case for the professionalisation of inter-county GAA in its current format can be made, the pay for play issue will be on the new director general’s agenda.

Similarly, the current state of shamateurism that exists, which, to be blunt, is underwritten as much by GAA members’ hypocrisy as it is by under the table payments to managers, will have to be addressed.

As for other priorities, given that the GAA expressly wants someone with ‘commercial acumen’, let’s start there.

Centrally, the GAA has four key income streams.

Gate receipts are hugely important but attendances for the All-Ireland championships have been in decline since 2000.

For the next three years there will be an element of “wait and see” on this as the provincial round robins in hurling and super eights in football take their course.

Will more games in a condensed period boost attendances or will the inevitable dead rubbers deter spectators?

Sponsorship is another vital income stream.

Currently, the GAA hurling championship has three official sponsors. Can you name them?

Research suggests that official sponsorships often give poor value for sponsors — some sports prefer to partner with one backer.

The Irish sponsorship market is comparatively shallow but the GAA’s reach into Irish life is the deepest of all sports. The advice to the new director general is don’t underestimate it and don’t sell it short.

The third revenue stream relates to broadcasting rights.

A lot has been written about the Sky deal, its commercial value, and its impact on GAA values.

I am not a fan but not for the usual reasons.

In England, top-level cricket has been confined to Sky for the last decade or more. A recent survey showed that less than 2% of children in England now rate cricket as their favourite sport.

Sky and the behemoth that is Premier League football are mutually interdependent; other sports have become wholly dependent on Sky.

Greyhound racing in England is an example of a sport that is now basically a TV event. The last dog track in London closed in 2017.

The GAA needs exposure of its games, not graphics.

Ironically, the future of TV sport, especially amongst the young, may not be Sky. It will be online. Sports globally are investing heavily in social media and their own streaming channels. The GAA needs a two-prong approach here — a strong terrestrial TV presence and an innovative, independent social media plan.


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