Ask A Broadsheet Reader


530859449JD00074_RBS_Six_Na Six Nations captains 2015

Macker writes:

Alex White [Minister for Communications] wants to keep the Six Nations free to air. A lot like the Brits with their [British] Open Golf (now sadly gone to Sky) or the Grand National these events hold a special place in our cultural spectrum and should be accessible on the national broadcaster for ‘free’. So serious question: why do [some in] Fine Gael prefer to sell it out?



29 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

      1. Birneybau2

        I was replying to the question at the end of the post: “why do [some in] Fine Gael prefer to sell it out?”

        1. My Daddy is bigger than Yours


          >It was expected Mr White’s move might be resisted by some Fine Gael Ministers, but it is understood no objections or reservations were expressed at Cabinet.

          Being against this proposal doesn’t mean you’d prefer to sell the games to Sky; if could also mean you don’t want to weaken the IRFU’s bargaining position.

          Not much of a negotiator are you

  1. realPolithicks

    There’s money in it for some of their friends (and themselves). I’m guessing Denis O’Brien will end up with the rights to the broadcast.

  2. PIPEs

    as a rugby fan myself, in the long run it will be good for irish rugby to sell rights to the highest bidder as it will mean more more money pumped into the irish game. we could attract more big foreign stars too which would be great to see week in week out etc.

    1. Drogg

      You are obviously not much of a rugby fan because drawing in big foreign stars and then not investing in national players is what happened to the french team. Ireland has risen from obscurity to being 3rd in the world by investing in grass level roots of the game and by investing in our national players.

    2. TheDude

      Yes, let’s turn the provincial teams into corporations and have little or no Irish players on them

    3. 15 cents

      i dont think the IRFU get money from who airs the games .. thats just down to the TV stations .. as for attracting foreign players, its not like they havent heard of us, we’re the 3rd best team in the world.

  3. Rob_G

    More money for the IRB?

    Didn’t the Greens want to make it free to air, and some rugby pundits objected, saying the only reason that Leinster and Munster were able to compete on the European stage was due to TV revenues, without which all of our best players would be gone to England?

    But I’m sure you are asking because you want someone to say ‘Deni O’Brien!!’ or the likes.

    1. My Daddy is bigger than Yours

      Eamo Ryan wanted to have the ERC/Heineken cup on the list – even though it was a pan national competition…

      Bandwagon jumper

  4. Bingo Slimz

    Hmmmm… why do centre-right party want to sell something that could make them a lot of money?

    Macker, you made my head hurt with your stupid question. Thanks a lot.

      1. ionabike

        Is the entirety of FG on the cabinet. My understanding is that it’s certain FG back benchers who oppose it

  5. Bonzor

    Regarding the posting of links saying FG didn’t oppose it, I suspect that political expediency post an incredibly successful Six Nations campaign won out and caused them to withhold their tongues. That said, Alex White has pushed this issue out to consultation phase, so there’s not actually any need for anyone to get stuck in yet. Cabinet ministers rarely go to war with each other as the potential for loss on both sides is so high, but Coveney is vehemently opposed to keeping games free to air.

    No one should be under any illusions that the IRFU won’t go to Sky if they get the chance. I may be wrong, but I suspect massively increased tv deals also result in handy wage increases for top IRFU staff.

    Finally, here’s a good analysis of what happened when GAA went behind the paywall:

    1. My Daddy is bigger than Yours

      > Coveney is vehemently opposed to keeping games free to air.

      have you a source for that? Or pulling it out of your hoop?

      Ever consider that Coveney is in favour of an organisation retaining its bargaining power? The circle-jerk is strong here as usual.

      The IRFU recognizes that its sponsors would much prefer FTA and that its revenue would be maximizes by having the games on FTA but never the less would prefer to play RTE off against Sky…

      1. Bonzor

        My bad. He’s actually a shnake who opposes free to air when it suits him and then wants Irish teams on Irish TV when a deal is made. I should have known better than to reference one of those FG Ministers. Sure who can believe a word that comes out of their lying mouths?!

        “Further support came from Simon Coveney, then the Fine Gael Communications spokesperson who repeatedly proclaimed that ‘Ryan’s interference threatens to destroy the golden era of Irish rugby.’4 Interestingly, Coveney had previously been outspoken in his criticism of the FAI in 2002 and of the then Fianna Fáil-PD government for allowing the sale of the rights to Irish soccer matches to Sky Sports. Back then, Coveney blamed the Government for allowing a pay-to-view channel to buy the rights to Irish soccer internationals, saying it was a failure that had let down the ordinary Irish fan: ‘The decision is a blatant commercial decision by the FAI and a selfish one which will result in a lot of people having to pay for the enjoyment of seeing the Irish team play at home.’5 And yet no-one was more outspoken in his criticism of Éamon Ryan’s proposal than Simon Coveney. Ultimately, Ryan’s proposal fell with the government of which he was part and there is no realistic prospect of it being revived by the current Fine Gael-Labour government.”

  6. eoin

    shocker – the people who are mostly in the cork cons and all the rest of the rugby world are business people. suddenly they are not. it’s only rugby the new fashion – get over it.

  7. Disgrace

    Because some of them are/or have links to Publicans (or just want to pander to them for votes) and by moving these events to pay TV they think it will increase custom.

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