16 January 2024

~3 minutes read

Opinions sought on 14 new sporting events considered for broadcast on free-to-air TV

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Opinions sought on 14 new sporting events considered for broadcast on free-to-air TV

Minister Martin announces public consultation as part of the review of Free-to-Air TV Events

  • Have your say at www.gov.ie/freetoairThe closing date for receipt of observations is Tuesday 20th February 2024
  • 9 women’s events to be considered for a designation to achieve equivalence for women’s sport
  • In total, 14 new events are identified for further consultation as live Free-to-Air events

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, TD, today announced a public consultation as part of the statutory review of the major sporting events designated as free-to-air TV broadcasts.  The events for further consideration are:

  • The quarter and semi-finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football and Senior Hurling Championships
  • The finals of the Senior Football and Hurling Provincial Championships
  • The quarter and semi-finals of the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship
  • The finals of the Provincial Camogie Championship
  • The quarter and semi-finals of the All-Ireland Senior Ladies’ Football Championship
  • The finals of the Senior Ladies’ Provincial Football Championship
  • Ireland’s games in the UEFA Nations League (men’s)
  • Ireland’s games in the UEFA Women’s Nations League
  • Ireland’s home and away qualifying games in, and the opening games, Ireland’s games, and the semi-finals and final of, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Tournament
  • Ireland’s home and away qualifying games in, the opening games, Ireland’s games, the semi-finals and final of the UEFA European Women’s Football Championship
  • Ireland’s games in the Men’s Six Nations Rugby Championship (change from current “deferred” broadcast designation to “live” broadcast)
  • Ireland’s games in the Women’s Six Nations Rugby Football Championship
  • Ireland’s games in the Women’s Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament
  • The final of the European Rugby Champions Cup – should an Irish provincial team be represented

The aim of designating events as free to air is to try to balance the rights of the sporting bodies to exploit commercial opportunities afforded by their broadcasting rights and the needs of society to engage, as a whole, with culturally significant events, which act as a focal point for society and create a sense of national identity and pride.

The review is provided for in the Broadcasting Act 2009. Following the last review, which took place in 2017, the Government added the All Ireland Senior Ladies Football Final and the All Ireland Senior Camogie Final.

Speaking today Minister Martin said:

The review of the list of free-to-air events provides an opportunity to ensure that our most memorable sporting moments are retained on national TV for the people of Ireland to view together on an equal basis. Watching sporting or other events of national importance together creates a sense of community and national connectedness and should be accessible to everyone. 

“I hope to take this opportunity to deliver on a Programme for Government commitment to increase the visibility of women’s sport. The achievements of our female sporting talent should be available to view on our national broadcasters, providing both entertainment and valuable role models to our younger participants in sport. I encourage all interested parties and stakeholders to contribute to this consultation process.”

Interested parties can submit their views from today until 5pm Tuesday 20th February 2024 at www.gov.ie/freetoair

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