Katie Taylor after victory in the World Championship final. Doug McDermott/INPHO

RTÉ defend boxing coverage after Katie Taylor brands the broadcaster 'disrespectful'

Olympian Paddy Barnes has also been critical of RTÉ in recent months.

AFTER MISSING OUT on the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year to Rory McIlory on Sunday night, Katie Taylor was yesterday named the Irish Independent Sports Star of the Year and used the occasion to slam the broadcaster.

Taylor’s failure to attend the RTÉ awards was widely commented upon and it seems the Olympic gold medalist has serious reservations about the coverage she – and boxing in general – receives.

Speaking to the Irish Independent after picking up yesterday’s award, Taylor said:

“I don’t know what I have to do to get the coverage or support from RTÉ. They seem to always be consumed by rugby and GAA but boxing is our most successful sport and you have to start giving the coverage to boxers aswell.

“The lack of coverage over the years is disrespectful.”

However, in  statement issued to this morning, the broadcaster defended its coverage pointing out that the decision not to show the National Championships was made by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), not RTÉ.

“For 2014 the IABA made the decision to work with another broadcaster for the National Elite Finals. RTE offered comprehensive coverage but this was declined.

“It should also be noted that many of the elite boxing championships at both European and world level that RTÉ has covered in the recent past did not have multi-camera coverage and in some cases offered coverage from semi-finals onwards only.

“Professional Boxing has, along with Premier League highlights, Heineken Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Basketball National Finals, unfortunately, fallen from our schedules in recent years.

“It is RTÉ’s stated policy to ensure we first and foremost but not exclusively concentrate on national teams, national games and major events.

Katie Taylor in Dublin Airport after winning a fifth lightweight title at the AIBA World WomenÕs Elite Championships Katie Taylor after her recent World Championship win. INPHO / Morgan Treacy INPHO / Morgan Treacy / Morgan Treacy

Referring specifically to Taylor, the organisation said:

“RTÉ Sport has prioritised Katie’s title defence in Rio in 2016 as well as the last year’s World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan and European Boxing Championships in Belarus.

“RTÉ has consistently supported Katie in her successful quest for titles at European, world and Olympic level and will be there again in Rio in 2016 as she defends her Olympic title.

“RTÉ continues to support Katie and had begun the process of also bringing coverage of the 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships from Jeju, Korea to Irish viewers.

“Unfortunately from our point-of-view TG4 decided to bid also and RTÉ decided to step away from the process as it wouldn’t represent value for licence-payers’ money to have two public service broadcasters competing for rights to the same event.

“RTÉ had a reporter and crew at the championships in Korea and we offered comprehensive coverage across news, radio and online.”

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