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Should RTE show international sports that have nothing to do with Ireland.

  • 19-10-2022 8:05am
    Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    As per the title - I suppose I am particularly thinking of the Champions League here.

    Spotted the letter below in the Irish Times. I actually have a gripe myself with this, as I think League of Ireland does extremely well in terms of airtime on RTE compared to other sports, incredibly well really considering the standard. Standard is basically at a level with other amateur sports in Ireland, no better - having attended a number of LoI games this year, and having attended the Dublin GAA club football semi final and final - I would DEFO say the GAA club standard is better....

    RTÉ relegates the League of Ireland to second place -

    Sports like Badminton, or Tennis, or actually Irish dancing which is very popular and is also one of the toughest sports - far more physically challenging than soccer, or Basketball, or domestic Athletics - these rarely if ever get a look in. LoI is on the TV every bloody week.

    Anyway, my gripe isnt against LoI - its asking should RTE be spending heaps of money on Champions League when actually people have multiple other options for watching these games.

    As a state broadcaster, what is its mandate for doing this - and why doesnt it have more of a mandate to promote domestic Irish sport outside of the holy trinity of GAA, Soccer and Rugby *.

    (Note also, I dont consider horse racing to be a sport....its basically in my book content for gambling, it does not exist without gambling and therefore should be in a category of its own.....).



  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,241 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg

    OP, to be clear, you are proposing RTE give up rights to events such as the World Cup, the European Championships, the Rugby World Cup, the Olympics, Six Nations etc other than games actually involving the Ireland or Republic of Ireland teams? The likelihood would be that VMTV would see the price of such rights collapse with no one bidding against it but would it have the resources to broadcast all of these and might, if they decided that broadcasting these tournaments didn’t pay for it even with lower rights fees (the Olympics might especially fall into this category) these tournaments become the preserve of eg, BT/Eurosport in the case of the Olympics.

    By your own logic TG4 would also have to refrain from bidding for such rights.

    By the way Dundalk qualified for the play off round of the Champions League in 2016-17, so Irish participation in such tournaments isn’t an impossibility (if rather more unlikely with subsequent changes). Shamrock Rovers are in the group stage of the Europa Conference League this year, I appreciate that’s on VMTV.

  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭dmakc

    From a viewer perspective, unless you're paying for BT Sport then there's no other option to view the games in RTE timeslot. From RTE's perspective it draws the ratings so why wouldn't they?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    No not at all, Ireland participates in all those events.

    I am talking about Champions League in particular, but also other events where there is no Irish participation.

    And I think your mention of Dundalk +/- proves the point on no participation, if thats as good as it gets.

    So yes, for example I would include the World Cup in Qatar. When no domestic gymnastics or basketball or tennis is ever on TV. Why should RTE cover it. Or the womens Euros recently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,070 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

    UEFA/FIFA don't wait for you to qualify before signing out the contracts.

    If RTE followed your suggestion then we'd be looking at "Ireland are in the Last 16 of the World Cup, why isn't it on RTE, its a disgrace" threads down the line.

    I suspect events like the CL or the international football tournaments 'wash their face' financially anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,127 ✭✭✭Furze99

    I'm inclined to agree with you on the holy trinity of GAA, Soccer and Rugby coverage. And also with your comment on horse racing.

    I think a few things going on with RTE sport

    1) Staff. The staff they employ mainly come from a GAA and lesser extent Soccer and Rugby background. That's really all they know and can talk about. Occasionally you hear one of them commenting on some other sport and their lack of knowledge is painful. That's their culture, GAA, Soccer and Rugby with a bit of the gee gees thrown in and the odd bit about lads & lassies beating the crap out of each other in a ring.

    2) Money. TV coverage money seems split between cheap sport to cover like GAA and for example womens soccer currently etc. And then big spend of a smaller number of high prestige events, where they hope advertisers will be drawn to. Little in the middle.

    They could do far better but that would mean a shake up of staff, kick out half the GAA, Soccer and Rugby heads. Retire the likes of Des Cahill, how long in the tooth is he. And bring in a few presenters/ commentators who are familiar with a wider range of sports.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,623 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    Irish teams compete in the Champions League every year.

    It sounds like you want more variety of sport rather than just Irish competitors, which is fair enough. I'm not sure I'd see Irish dancing as a sport - it's more of an art form for me, even if it is physically demanding - but I'd agree with you on horse racing.

    The ultimate answer though is: popularity. RTE shows these things - horse racing and champions league group and knockout stages - because people want to watch them. And they're paying they licence fees/broadcasting charges so they've every right to view them without having to fork out for a satellite/cable service.

    If this post contains the phrase "we're done here" it means I've proven what I set out to prove and I don't want to keep going round in circles.

    It's not about "winning" it's about illustrating a point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    the champions league games that RTE show have nothing to do with League of Ireland, bar a couple of matches in September at best.

    I take your point on popularity but we are talking about a state funded broadcaster. These games are available on other channels also. Yes - maybe RTE profits from showing Champions League, but it is at the expense of showing other sports and in particular domestic sports.

    A related point is that its coverage leans very heavily towards what are traditionally male dominated sports - soccer, rugby, gaa. I know that womens soccer is growing, but things like Irish dancing, gymnastics, domestic hockey, domestic basketball which are traditionally skewed towards women or at least 50:50 - these dont get a look in at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    To address some of the other points made above:

    Yes I'd agree on the Staff issue. But the other issue, I would think Staff given the choice would much rather being in Anfield or Barcelona for a Champions League match themselves, than covering the badminton finals in Abbotstown..... and will make an 'informed, all things considered' decision on that basis. Being honest, I would too, given the choice. However, the point is that as a viewer, I can watch that Barcelona or Liverpool game on multiple other channels. I can not and will not see domestic sport unless the broadcaster shows it.

    On another issue, we havent qualified for a world cup since 2002.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,890 ✭✭✭kowloonkev

    I don't disagree that minority sports could be better represented on RTE but you also have to be fair to the license payer and broadcast the things they are likely to watch. It shouldn't be anti-competitive as is the case in the UK with the media deciding what is popular, and then pouring money into loss making enterprises like the Women's football, making it harder for minority sports such as Rugby League/snooker etc that have their media exposure reduced because they have to cover all the women's editions of the most popular men's sports.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,801 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    If you think Athletics is less physically demanding than Irish Dancing then I suggest you are ill informed. Athletics is among the most physically demanding sporting pursuits there is.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,623 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    You heavily implied that the champions league is nothing to do with Ireland - it is. Irish teams qualify and enter.

    The games are not always available on other channels, unless you pay for them, hence my point in the post you replied to.

    Ultimately, RTE are not going to broadcast sports if there is no audience for them but again - your point seems to be in favour of minority sports rather than sports that have nothing to do with Ireland. If there is an Irish competitor doing well in an international event, they'll show it and people will watch it.

    If this post contains the phrase "we're done here" it means I've proven what I set out to prove and I don't want to keep going round in circles.

    It's not about "winning" it's about illustrating a point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    They are very popular as participant sports, is probably what I should have said. And they are, end of.

    Its just an opinion. As noted, Joe, RTE coverage skews very heavily towards what are male dominated sports. You might not want to watch gymnastics, that doesnt mean there is no audience for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,801 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    An anecdote about one athlete. Probably not the evidence you were hoping for as she questions the political influence in Irish Dancing which argues against it as a sport.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    I didnt imply, I said it. I watch Champions League on TV from the September through to May and I dont see any Irish team, and I dont even see a single Irish player, unless Cillian Sheridan is playing with some Cypriot team. We can agree to disagree on this one.

    Shamrock Rovers were knocked out of the Champions League in the first preliminary round on 13th July.

  • Registered Users Posts: 940 ✭✭✭Doc07

    I think they should show World Cup (soccer -apart from the Qatar farce, happily boycott- and Rugby) as sufficient national interest. would have no objection to the gold and tennis majors- multiple other options to watch these but same for champions league.

    as for ‘(Note also, I dont consider horse racing to be a sport....its basically in my book content for gambling, it does not exist without gambling and therefore should be in a category of its own.....).’

    i couldn’t agree more. Lots of respect for the hardworking jockeys and trainers and support staff bit remove gambling and it’s an elite niche and would not be a mass spectator sport. It’s a conduit for gambling and little else. Gambling has also risen to disgusting levels in soccer but ban soccer gambling tomorrow and World Cup , English PL and CL would still be massive events

  • Posts: 0 Chad Cold Ledge

    Not practical OP:

    There's not enough common ground in this context between RTE and the International sports BODIES. Also, the very divergent agendas of RTE and the carious sports bodies.

    RTE is specifically targeting a more local audience than the international sports bodies would see a benefit of serving.

    RTE is also aiming to serve up and broadcast more of an experience than a specific sports event.

    Think of something like the young scientist exhibition broadcast by RTE. Is there any memorable young scientist exhibition over the last 10 years that rte celebrates? Not at all

    The same goes for RTE's approach to sport, so I can't see rte considering the OPs suggestion any time soon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius

    i think the government have a huge say in what sports are and are not shown. They don't want to popularise sports that would drive the need for investment. For example, the 2012 olympics sparked outcries for an Irish indoor velodrome.

    This is why most of irish success in non soccer/football/boxing related sports are by northerners because they have the foresight and more importantly, the investment up there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    That is such a typical social media answer.

    You told me that top level domestic athletics was far far harder than top level Irish dancing. You told me I was 'ill informed', your choice of words.

    I show you an interview with probably the only ever person who has been at the top of her field in both Irish Dancing in Ireland, and athletics in Ireland.

    And she is saying that the Irish Dancing was as hard if not harder. That she was training 7 hours a day for it. It unequivocally makes my point a reasonable one, as opposed to an 'ill informed one'.

    And your response instead of acknowledging the point is to deflect, and change the topic. WTF.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,801 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    I think it's pretty clear from the replies above that your points aren't the most well thought out. I'll leave you to it so that your thread topic isn't derailed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,750 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    After every Olympics there's outcries for the government to build multiples of every type of sporting facility.

    Within a fortnight people don't care and it's not mentioned again until the next Olympics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,127 ✭✭✭Furze99

    People usually want to see sport played at it's best - so not sure the OPs point really holds.

    But I do think RTE Sport is lazy & predictable. If fact if you took away GAA coverage, it'd fall apart - they cover some games of little more than local interest with minimal spectators attending.

    I like a bit of hurling and even the odd bit of football, but it's not the be and end all. Despite the annoying adverts that insist that GAA is part of us all. Patronising nonsense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,860 ✭✭✭3DataModem

    I think it is an interesting suggestion to have an Irish sport mandate for the state broadcaster.

    It will cut viewership and advertising revenue dramatically, and increase the cost to the exchequer which would need to be borne by the taxpayer, licence payer, or viewer.

    At the moment the state broadcaster's "mandate" value is very low. A little bit of domestic drama and news content. Maybe it wouldn't take much to expand that to sport.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,050 ✭✭✭✭y0ssar1an22

    love the way you leave out cricket while they are currently in a world cup. what a win vs scotland today.

    like rte, and yourself, you only really give a **** about things you care about.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,025 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Has it ever occurred to the OP that RTÉ is showing in abundance…






    and more that have zero connection to this country but that do actually entertain, inform and carry an interest for the Irish taxpayers who participate in partially funding RTÉ…

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    I can hardly list every sport, but cricket would defo be on the list of sports that get zero coverage on RTE and not much more in national press. I've been following the Irish cricket team for years, have been to Malahide to watch them but never actually played the game myself. Only started following cricket when visiting India / Pakistan when the 1999 World Cup was on, featuring as you know one of the greatest ever games of one day cricket in the semi final which got me really hooked on the game.....watching the final in Pakistan was also an experience. Anyways...would you not like to see the Irish cricket team on RTE? Instead of Man Utd versus Cluj.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,070 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

    Cricket World Cup is something that Sky pay a sizeable sum for exclusive rights for - there's no actual path for RTE to have coverage other than outbidding Sky (possibly a case could be made for having such games on our reserved list via the EU rules, but that's one for politicians and sporting bodies to decide, not RTE)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,890 ✭✭✭kowloonkev

    Ireland are basically in the qualifiers for the Cricket World cup and very likely to get knocked out of it before it really starts. I like cricket but some of you don't seem to understand that RTE can't just pick Irish games to show without paying for the rights of the whole thing. And they have to compete with Sky Sports to secure the rights of the cricket in Ireland.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭Tombo2001

    Nobody is arguing for that.

    My point is that there should be more domestic sport on TV, and more diversity of sport, and less focus on international sport that has no local relevance (as opposed to no local interest).

    We all know there are heaps of Liverpool and Man U fans in Ireland. Good luck to them, but they have loads of other avenues to watch their teams, they dont need RTE to show it.

    To your point, on Cricket as an example, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase Irish cricket that dont involve the World Cup.