GAA on Amazon? Association loo...


GAA on Amazon? Association looks to streaming to claw back revenue

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Amazon Prime Video could end up being a destination for GAA coverage in years to come. 

The subscription streaming wing of the online sales behemoth was surprisingly name-checked by GAA Commercial Director Peter McKenna.

The association's media rights could prove a valuable commodity at a time when they're in most need of revenue. A deficit of €34.1million for 2020 was confirmed yesterday, with income at a central level down from €118m to €50.4m in the space of twelve months due to the pandemic.

In 2016, the GAA announced an extension to its deal with Sky to 2022, with their TV income believed to stand at €55m.

With the clock ticking on that deal, McKenna said the pandemic had showed the power of online streaming of matches, "I think there's some positives this year in the media rights landscape.

"We got huge support from TG4 and RTE in allowing streaming to occur, even though it was contrary to the contracts we had with them.

"So I think streaming and digitisation is going to be a bigger part of the contracts.

"I think the importance of sport in a national broadcast sense is far more important now, when you just see what other content is available, and where it's available.

"I think we have a very good product for our media rights negotiation.

"And I think there's a lot of players in the market now - and new ones coming into it - so I'd be very confident about a very healthy discussion with the existing partners.

"But there's some new partners coming into that frame, like Amazon too."

The GAA know that losses like last year's - even if out of their control - will have an ongoing impact on their reserves.

The cost of running this year's Allianz National Leagues was estimated by Finance Director Ger Mulryan at €20m.

But he says the wolf is not yet at the door, "If I'm sitting here reporting another similar loss next year - which realistically I look like I probably will be - we will.

"We have met our banks, and we have lines of credit in place. So we have - as part of our audit process - we had to review our going concern as a collective unit, and as an association.

"We have presented our cash-flow projections and business models on the back of that.

"We are comfortable we will be able to continue for the foreseeable future. That is up to the twelve months and beyond.

"I'm fairly confident that won't be a problem."

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