Club championship should be on BBC: SF

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With two North Derry sides representing their county in the Ulster club football championships this weekend there have been renewed calls for the BBC to introduce a highlights programme .

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said a ‘Sunday Game’ or ‘The Championship’ style reel should be brought in for upcoming club football and hurling fixtures.

This weekend Banagher take on Fermanagh’s Belnaleck in the intermediate football championship while Limavady Wolfhounds face Teconnaught of Co. Down in the junior tier of the competition.

However, the only way you’ll be able to see the action is by walking through the turnstiles at Owenbeg, save for a potential glimpse on an evening sports bulletin.

Mr. McCartney complained: “Gaelic games is the largest spectator sport in the north of Ireland but continues to be ignored when it comes to TV coverage. There is a massive energy and enthusiasm surrounding GAA club championship games with large crowds turning out to watch the games.

“However, this momentum is matched with frustration among GAA fans in Derry and across the six counties at what they feel is decades of neglect by BBC in terms of televising and mainstreaming Gaelic games.

“The BBC can do more to ensure there is equal access to GAA coverage and one of these measures should be the introduction of an extended highlights programme.”

Responding to Mr. McCartney’s calls for more investment in GAA coverage last month the BBC told the ‘Journal’: “Discussions about our GAA coverage are ongoing with relevant stakeholders.

“We remain committed to maximising the range, impact and volume of BBC programming in this area and understand its importance to local audiences.

“Sports rights are highly competitive and much of what we are able to do depends on partnership agreements with other broadcasters.”