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All of Sky Sports' live GAA championship games will be available on free-to-air for its customers this season

The coverage starts on 24 October.

Dublin's clash with Laois in the Leinster SHC will be the opening game on Sky's coverage.
Dublin's clash with Laois in the Leinster SHC will be the opening game on Sky's coverage.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SKY SPORTS HAVE confirmed that all 14 of their live GAA championship games will be available on free-to-air for all Sky customers in 2020.

The news was first reported by the Irish Examiner on Tuesday.

Their coverage on Sky Sports Mix begins on Saturday 24 October when Dublin take on Laois in the Leinster senior hurling championship.

Sky Sports Mix is available to viewers who do not have a paid Sky Sports subscription, with Sky estimating that the channel is available in approximately 900,000 homes in Ireland on both the Sky and Virgin Media platforms.

Gráinne McElwain will be replacing Rachel Wyse as a new co-host with Brian Carney while the punditry team of Kieran Donaghy, Peter Canavan, Jamesie O’Connor, JJ Delaney and Ollie Canning are all coming back to our screens.

Speaking at the launch of the 2020 coverage, Sky’s director of multi sports Georgie Faulkner said the station is delighted to bring their broadcasts to a wider audience. 

“We wanted to do the right thing and I’m really delighted that we’re able to put those games on Sky [Sports] Mix and open it up to as wide an audience as possible.”

When asked about the prospect of adding crowd noise to the coverage, Faulkner said that while they don’t have anything in place yet, they are working on finding a solution that makes the viewing experience more authentic for fans.

“GAA is very different from a sport like Premiership football. It’s well documented that EA Sports have been recording lots of our football matches for a few years and we have a bank of sounds that we were able to go back and get from them and work through to our live broadcasts.

“We don’t have that for GAA, so there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to see if we can get to the right point. We found that our customers have really enjoyed the augmented sound.

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“That isn’t true for every sport. Boxing is one where we know fans prefer to hear the punches, hear the corners between rounds and what they’re saying to each other.

We’re very conscious of things being authentic and getting it right. We’re working furiously behind the scenes, working through the technical piece, the resource piece and we are working hard to finding a solution.”

Remarking on health and safety precautions that have to be observed during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Faulkner emphasised the importance of ensuring the safety of their staff when working on their programmes. 

She also revealed that there will no studio boxes for outside broadcasts while some of their UK employees will be limited in travelling to Ireland to work on the GAA coverage due to quarantine restrictions.

Sky Sports’ GAA championship coverage 2020

* Exclusively live on Sky Sports Mix

  • Dublin vs Laois, Leinster SHC (Saturday 24 October)*
  • Monaghan vs Cavan, Ulster SFC (Saturday 31 October)*
  • Cork vs Waterford, Munster SHC (Saturday 31 October)*
  • Hurling Qualifier (Saturday 7 November)*
  • Dublin vs Westmeath, Leinster SFC (Saturday 7 November)*
  • Donegal/Tyrone vs Armagh/Derry, Ulster SFC (Saturday 14 November)*
  • Hurling Qualifier (Saturday 14 November)*
  • All-Ireland Hurling Quarter-Final (Saturday 21 November)*
  • All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final (Saturday 28 November)
  • All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final (Sunday 29 November)
  • All-Ireland Football Semi-Final (Saturday 5 December)
  • All-Ireland Football Semi-Final (Sunday 6 December)
  • All-Ireland Hurling Final (Sunday 13 December)
  • All-Ireland Football Final (Saturday 19 December)

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