Former Cork All Ireland winning goalkeeper Dónal Óg Cusack rounded on the GAA for surrendering the ‘competitive space’ and allowing hurling to play second fiddle to rugby in broadcasting terms.
The Cloyne club man was speaking on RTÉ’s The Sunday Game following a weekend which saw a classic Munster championship encounter between Cork and Tipperary played before a full house in Páirc Uí Chaoimh but available to view only by subscribers for GAAGO, the streaming service owned by RTÉ and the GAA.
According to the former Cork net-minder, the GAA are using the Munster Hurling Championship to get their streaming service off the ground whereas he believes the association should be doing more to support hurling.
“How many Munster championship games in football compared to hurling have they shown?,” he suggested.
“It looks very like that they’re using hurling to get this joint venture off the ground, whereas it should be the other way around.
“There’s loads hundreds, thousands of brilliant, brilliant volunteers who are trying to grow hurling. As I said at the outset, it needs oxygen.
“There’s no better oxygen that you can get in the game than the imagery coming out of the likes of Tipp and Clare, from a full Ennis – that being beamed into every house in Ireland. The Clare and Limerick game, the power of that.”
He suggested that hurling was not getting the primetime mainstream exposure it should be getting and therefore it was losing out to soccer and rugby.
“My nephew can name all of Liverpool squad. I don’t think the young fella was ever in Liverpool. Why is that?
“The opportunity we’ve lost over the last number of weeks to market the game has been huge.”
He said that he had predicted earlier this year that, given the extensive rugby coverage which was coming in a Rugby World Cup year, that a rugby ball icon should be place in the corner of the TV screen.
“I’m very proud of the Irish rugby team and they’re a credit to the country and we all hope they win the World Cup but, in terms of being a competitive space, the GAA have waved the white flag, because we’ve now given over 2023 to rugby country.”
Source : Independent