THE GAA WILL target an expansion in the North American market when negotiating the next round of TV media rights which are to come into play next April.
GAA Director-General Paraic Duffy confirmed to TheScore.ie in Pennsylvania at the weekend that making the broadcast of games more accessible to Irish disapora all over the world and particularly in North America is a key objective.
The GAA’s current media rights package for television and radio – both domestic and international – ends with the conclusion of the 2014 Allianz football and hurling leagues.
“The current package is coming to an end and one of the priorities for us in terms of the next package of rights is to make our games more easily accessible to people all over the world, particularly in North America,” revealed Duffy.
“Be it through television or the internet, whatever way it is, is the way to get the games out there. We’re absolutely determined to do that.
“There is a big demand from the Irish abroad to see the games and we want to meet that demand. Setanta have a lot of those rights at the moment.
“We’ve a lot of proposals and we’re talking to a lot of different groups and that’ll go on over the next few months.”
Duffy does not believe there are any major obstacles towards the broadcast distribution of GAA games on the internet.
“The biggest is the availability of broadband I suppose. The opportunity to show your games on a whole range of outlets is increasing all the time.
“We need to look at what is the best way to make them accessible and also to monetize the value of the rights as well. But that’s very much a priority over the next six months to bring that to a successful conclusion.”
The launch this year of the GAA’s ‘Just Play’ app, which sees highlights of recent games being released on that app every Tuesday, was part of the GAA’s plan to ascertain the demand for coverage.
“That was just kind of to test the market, to see what kind of interest there was from people. It’s been interesting. It was just part of the exploratory process really.
“Money is important, but it’s about making the games available as easily as possible. And we’re just exploring a whole range of options on that at the moment. I’m not going to give away any more than that, but we are working very hard on it.”