A younger of me could have laughed at me now as I flipped through the channels a few weeks ago trying to find RTÉ’s traditional decorator for the hurling finale, “Up for the Match”.
A few years ago, we would have laughed at the whole atmosphere of Glenroe. An evening for Central Ireland and all the twee songs from the competing counties. I have a greater tolerance for all of this now. Indeed, there I was looking for him.
But no, he could not be found.
I still searched in vain on Friday night for the preview of the football final. I know it would’ve been Philomena Begley and ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’, but it sure would have passed the time.
In this era of competing media companies and shared rights between Sky and other competitors, I don’t understand why RTÉ refused to go back to it. Especially with a Tyrone team now complying with their requests.
I wonder why. I went looking and found a quote from regular host Jacqui Hurley in August.
“We didn’t have Up for the Match last year and there won’t be any more fans allowed in the studio this year. The show doesn’t work without fans.
Alright, good. But then you notice that the Late Late Show took place in its usual Friday night slot. Host Ryan Tubridy was able to accommodate a number of guests, along with several members of the Irish Paralympian team – and a studio audience.
So, what gives? Didn’t they want to put on a show on their other channel, in competition for viewers and therefore advertising revenue?
After Saturday’s final, RTÉ Sports editor-in-chief Declan McBennett tweeted that it was “the most watched TV show of the year to date.”
“TV audiences peaked at 1.065 million, 940,000 on average, 75% share, 149,000 streams on RTÉ Player. Even more on the radio and online.
And no preview program. Not good enough.
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