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8 things we're looking forward to seeing when Sky Sports' GAA coverage returns this evening

The broadcaster is back for another championship summer.

AFTER SKY SPORTS’ debut season of GAA championship coverage last year, the broadcaster’s cameras are in Tullamore this evening for their first fixture of the summer. 

Sky’s acquisition of rights caused much debate and split opinion with many left feeling uneasy by the GAA’s decision to allow championship games to be shown on digital television.

However, the response to Sky’s coverage was, on the whole, positive and with that in mind, here’s 8 aspects of their coverage we’re looking forward to seeing this summer. 

Jim McGuinness’ punditry debut

Jim McGuinness Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Just as RTÉ did with the signing of Henry Shefflin, Sky have been busy in the winter market. The recruitment of Jim McGuinness is a big coup and it will be fascinating to see what he brings to the table given his vast amount of experience as a player and then as a manager.

McGuinness adds to an already strong line-up of panellists including Peter Canavan, Jamesie O’Connor, Ollie Canning and Senan Connell with Rachel Wyse hosting.

The dramatic opening credits

Producers opted for a ‘Game of Thrones’ theme last year and we can’t wait to see what the production team have come up with for 2015.

Source: David Allen/YouTube

The Twitter reaction

One of the most memorable aspects of Sky’s debut season was the Twitter reaction of those from the outside looking in.

In fact, the British couldn’t quite believe their eyes as this foreign sport appeared on their screens for the first time. It may not come as much of a surprise this time around but we’re sure hurling will still confuse our friends across the water.

Source: Sean Molloy/YouTube

GAA appearing on Sky Sports News HQ

For the next few months, GAA takes its pride of place on the famed Sky Sports News HQ ticker alongside all the county cricket scores.
https://vine.co/v/MD0wgnt0qvb

JJ joins the party

Jim McGuinness isn’t the only new addition to Sky’s team for 2015 with the recently-retired JJ Delaney joining the party.

The former Kilkenny hurler feels he can bring a ‘fresh perspective’ to the coverage by offering an insight into the modern game. Although, we’re yet to confirm reports that a ‘SkyPad’ has been installed at his home in preparation.

The ‘SkyPad’

Brian Carney hurling analysts Jamesie OÕConnor Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Whether it’s on Monday Night Football or Sky Sports’ unrivalled cricket coverage, the legendary ‘SkyPad’ has become an integral part of the broadcaster’s sporting coverage.

Last year, Sky raised the bar by introducing that level of technology and analysis to GAA coverage. To be fair, RTÉ have upped their game since and the competition between the two can only be a good thing.

Promoting the game

Ollie Canning and Jamesie O'Connor with presenter Rachel Wyse Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Not only does Sky’s coverage broadcast games far and wide but it also means we get to see more of the fixtures that matter on our screens.

Although RTÉ do their best to cover as much of the championship campaigns as possible, it’s just not possible for the state broadcaster to have a broadcast crew at every ground.

True, Sky is a subscription-based service but between themselves and RTÉ, they’ve brought GAA coverage to another level.

Presenters trying to pronounce ‘Connacht’

Connnnooughttt.

Source: Tadhg Foley/YouTube

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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