AMAZON PRIME VIDEO could become a new home for GAA coverage in the future.

The American subscription streaming service was name-checked by the GAA’s commercial director, Peter McKenna, as the Association launched its annual financial report yesterday.

McKenna suggested that Amazon could be a possible bidder for some GAA action in the future, with media rights proving a valuable commodity at a time when revenue is needed.

The GAA reported a combined deficit of €34.1m after the Covid-19-hit 2020 season yesterday, with Director-General Tom Ryan describing the past year as “very damaging to the Association from a financial point of view”.

While the biggest fall came in gate receipts, commercial income — generated through media rights, agreements and sponsorship — fell from €19.92m to €8.65m as contracts were renegotiated on a one-off basis to reflect the changed league and championship formats.

While thankful to existing partners and current rights holders, RTÉ, TG4, Sky Sports and eir Sport, for their recent accommodation, McKenna envisages more changes in the future.

New players such as Amazon, who have been covering some Premier League action [in the UK] of late, may be interested in getting involved in the next round of broadcast rights when the current deals expire at the end of this year, McKenna says.

“There are some positives in the media rights landscape,” he noted. “We certainly got huge support from TG4 and RTÉ in allowing streaming to occur even though it was contrary to the contracts we had with them. 

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“Streaming and digitisation are going to be a bigger part of the contracts. The importance of sport in a national broadcast sense is far more important now when you see what other content is available and where it is available.

“We have a very good product for media rights negotiation and I think there are a lot of players in the market now and new ones coming into it.

“So I would be very confident that we’ll have a very healthy discussion with the existing partners but there are newcomers coming into that frame too, like Amazon for example.”

– Additional reporting from Fintan O’Toole.

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