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TV coverage of the eircom League is to suffer a setback with the news that RTE's Sunday evening sports programme will lead with the GAA O'Byrne Cup final between Carlow and Wicklow.
A deal worked out between RTE and the league last month decided on 14 weekly highlights programmes between January 6th and April 7th, as well as live coverage of the title decider and the FAI Cup semi-finals and final.

However, RTE have now decided that this week's programme will lead with the GAA game after both Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers refused to switch games to a Sunday. The timing of the news is unfortunate and not only because of the continuous bad press leaking from the Paul Marney affair.

Last Sunday's programme which led with the Kilkenny City/Dundalk FAI Cup tie drew in a viewership of 210,000, that's 40,000 more than the Premiership managed the night before. With such a boost, an attractive league tie, especially the Shels-Pats crunch match, would be expected to pull in even greater figures, but that has now become irrelevant.

Shels feared a reduced gate if they were to play on the Sunday and while it is entirely understandable that clubs want to play when gate revenue is an issue, losing out on much-needed TV exposure is something the National League cannot afford at the best of times.
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