Why do I have to watch Irish Athletes on BBC?

I grew up watching Athletics on RTÉ, screaming at the telly urging Sonia O’Sullivan to win in the big race, which was always hyped up. But of course I also cheered on anyone else who was racing for Ireland. I remember watching swimming championships on RTÉ and screaming for Michelle Smith (now De Brun) to win.

Why now if I want to shout for Irish Athletes I have  to watch BBC or Eurosport. Have we Irish lost interest in Athletics now that we dont have someone like Sonia or Michelle to cheer on and gaurentee us medals that we don’t watch it. What message does that send our Athletes and young people who are interested in Athletics?

Compare that to the BBC who hype up all their young stars to try and give them the best possible support and really crown their acheivements. Why aren’t RTÉ doing this?

This year I watched Olive Loughnane get her Silver Medal for Ireland in the 20km Walk on BBC. I watched Derval O’Rourke come 4th in the World in the 100m Hurdles on BBC. I have also watched multiple interviews with Irish Athletes on BBC. Tonight I will watch David Gillick race in the 4oom final on BBC.

Why is RTÉ focusing on Champions League matches which dont show any Irish teams instead on focusing on Irish Athletes who are doing us proud, winning medals and setting national records?

I agree with the Fine Gael Spokesperson on Sport John O’Mahony TD when he says :

I understand the difficult financial position RTE is in but, surely, the funds could have been found to cover this important sporting event. Due to the Irish athletes competing, the Athletics Championship is integral to Irish sport and savings elsewhere could have been made to allow live broadcasts from Berlin to go ahead.

“That it wasn’t is a real shame and I hope RTÉ learns from this error next time out.”

Hopefully RTÉ will be able to sort themselves out for the World Indoor Championships in Doha next March and show Irish Athlethes in action.

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Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

4 thoughts on “Why do I have to watch Irish Athletes on BBC?”

  1. I’d say it’s all a question of supply and demand. Lots of Irish people wanna watch the Champions League, regardless of who is playing in it. In contrast (and I’ll be frank here) most Irish people don’t give a damn about athletics. Sad I know, but c’est la vie.

  2. I would disagree there Bryan, there is a lot of interest in Irish Athletics. Its why the BBC actually interview our athletes and mention them. Have had plenty of twitter discussions about the Irish athletes and this post sparked off a bit of a conversation on twitter too!

  3. A lot of interest does not equal profitable interest. If we ask the average sports-watching person in this country would they rather watch football or athletics we’ll only get one answer. That’s why if you go to a pub on the weekend or when the European games are on during the week you’ll find football on the telly, not the final of the women’s 200 metre hurdles.

  4. Join the club!
    Bryan is wrong when he suggest that we are interested in football over athletics. We are no longer interested in sport. We are interested in television.

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