THE 2012 NATIONAL Cup finals have been axed from RTE’s schedule because of financial restraints.
It’s a major blow to the sport as it means the games won’t be aired on the public service broadcaster for the first time in 26 years.
With coverage of Ireland’s involvement in Euro 2012, the Olympic Games and the Paralympics accounting for a large proportion of RTE’s budget next year, domestic basketball has taken a hit.
A spokesperson from RTE said: “Unfortunately RTÉ had to take this decision due to budgetary considerations characterised by stringent cutbacks across the board.
“Also a heavy proportion of the organisation’s budget is going towards next year’s additional output of RTÉ’s coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games, EURO 2012, 2012 Paralympics and the European Athletics Championships.”
Basketball Ireland, who released an official statement, are extremely disappointed with the news and are said to be exploring the possibility of agreeing a deal with either TV3 or TG4.
“RTE’s objective as a public service broadcaster is not served by this decision and Basketball Ireland expects that the Cup coverage will resume again in 2013,” said the organisation’s secretary general Bernard O’Byrne.
There is also a chance that the finals could be streamed via webcam on Basketball Ireland’s website.
“I believe they are looking into several avenues as it would be a shame if the games weren’t available to watch after so many years,” added a Basketball Ireland spokesperson today.