GAA Hurling is one of Ireland’s proudest and most popular traditions. The Gaelic Athletic Association puts on the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship every single year and the first time it was held was in 1887. In 2018 Limerick took home the title and won their 8th Liam MacCarthy Cup. The Championship is sponsored by some of the biggest companies in Ireland with Bord Gáis Energy, Centra, and Littlewoods Ireland. There are thousands of volunteers each and every year that help put the incredible event on. Hurling is the fastest game on land with the ball speed reaching over 170 mph which is incredibly fast. The 2019 season is fast approaching and there will be plenty of counties that want to show off their hurling skills to make their county proud. The final of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship is always sold out and there are over 80,000 fans who come out to watch the best hurlers in the world fight for the title.
So, how do we watch hurling? It can be confusing if you live in America or anywhere else so we are here to show you how you can watch the incredible sport of hurling.
The GAA has done a great job at creating a number of different ways that hurling fans can watch no matter where they are in the world. The easiest way to watch the matches if you live in Ireland is on RTE and they have most of the big hurling matches that you would want to watch. The GAA offers an online solution and television solution to watch hurling matches live depending on where you live. Let’s go over the television option first.
|TV Network||RTE Sports|
|Live Stream||Watch Here|
- 1 GAA Hurling Official Broadcasters
- 2 How to Watch Gaelic Hurling outside Ireland
- 3 GAA Hurling Online Broadcasters
- 4 Radio Broadcast
- 5 Social Media
- 6 Allianz Hurling League
- 7 Connacht GAA Hurling
- 8 Leinster GAA Hurling
- 9 Munster GAA Hurling
- 10 Ulster GAA Hurling
- 11 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
- 12 Trophy
- 13 Tickets
- 14 Final Words
GAA Hurling Official Broadcasters
In Ireland and the UK there are official television broadcasters of GAA hurling where you can watch all of the great hurling action throughout the year. Television is still a great medium for many different sports and there are plenty of people in both Ireland and the UK who have not cut the cord yet. Who are the big hurling broadcasters? Let’s go through them all and figure out which one you can access.
RTE has the rights to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and they typically broadcast the most exciting matches every single year in Ireland. RTE has incredible coverage of hurling matches as they have the biggest crew and they put on the best announcers that know the sport of hurling inside and out. Depending on the match, the coverage will be on RTE1 or RTE2.
TG4 broadcasts a number of hurling matches every single year. In just the spring of 2018 they broadcast 35 different matches. They show the greatest number of hurling matches of any television channel so if you are a hurling fan you have to have this channel in Ireland.
Sky Sports has exclusive rights to broadcast hurling in the UK. They will be most likely be broadcasting 20 hurling matches in 2019, which is the same number that they did in 2018. Sky Sports has great coverage of many different hurling matches so be on the lookout for an official announcement from Sky Sports sometime early in 2019.
What about those of us not in the UK or Ireland? Let’s go through the ways you can watch outside of those two countries.
How to Watch Gaelic Hurling outside Ireland
There are only two different ways to watch GAA hurling outside of Ireland. If you live in the UK your only option is to go through Sky Sports because they have the exclusive rights in the UK. If you live anywhere else then the best option is to buy a subscription to GAAGO, they have incredible coverage of all the Gaelic sports and great archive footage and documentaries. We will go into more depth on GAAGO and the pros and cons of the service. There is no other legal service that you can use to watch hurling besides Sky Sports or GAAGO.
GAA Hurling Online Broadcasters
Depending on where you live in the world, there are a few different ways to watch GAA hurling matches live. Thankfully, the GAA has done a great job at making hurling watchable from almost anywhere on the planet. They have partnered with different broadcasters all over the world to make it easy for any expat to watch hurling matches online. There are currently three different ways to watch GAA hurling online so let’s go over the 3 ways so you can find out how to watch no matter where you live.
If you live in the UK then you only have one choice for watching GAA hurling matches. You have to have a Sky Sports Television subscription in order to use the Sky Go app. You can buy Sky Mobile for 35 pounds a month or there are also day passes available for 6 pounds where you can access Sky Go. Sky Mobile is a great option for cord cutters as they can ditch the cable package and still watch all of their favorite sports and matches. Let’s talk about option number two.
GAAGO is a great service that the GAA started in 2014. They embraced the future of online streaming by creating their own online streaming service with RTE so that fans outside of the UK and Ireland can watch over 100 live and on-demand hurling matches no matter where they are located. The service costs $150 for a year of access or you can have four separate payments of $37.50. This is a great deal if you are a hurling fan and they have great customer service and a reliable game stream. There are also a good amount of documentaries and archive footage that you can watch on GAAGO. Let’s go over the final option for watching GAA hurling online.
Setanta or Eir Sport
Setanta Sports or Eir Sport as it is officially known now, has the broadcast rights for some of the GAA hurling matches in the Republic of Ireland. The channel now has the rights to broadcast 23 matches on their channel and their Setanta Sports Go app. The app is a great way to get access to hurling matches if you do not want to pay for a cable subscription in Ireland. The app only costs 15 Euros a month to access all of the matches which is a great deal.
But what if you do not have the money to afford one of these services? There are a few radio broadcasts around the world where you can listen to many different hurling matches for free.
RTE makes it easy to listen to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship as well as select other hurling matches. The matches are broadcast on Radio 1 which is available on RTÉ.ie. In Ireland viewers can listen on Radio 1 FM and Longwave 252. In the UK listeners can go to Long Wave 252 for GAA hurling coverage. In Africa, many hurling matches are broadcast on Frequency: 15320 kHz. If you live anywhere else then you will have to go to RTE.ie to listen to hurling matches. The best part about all of these options is that they are all free!
The GAA hurling matches have a lively social media presence as there are plenty of highly dedicated fans that are willing to share their insights and experiences in the sport of hurling. Facebook and Twitter are both huge for hurling fans and there is plenty of great interaction and content that you can enjoy on both platforms. Where do you go on Facebook? We’ll show you the way!
Check out the official RTE GAA for information and updates on coverage for hurling matches.
Make sure that you like the official GAA Facebook page as well to get information on both Gaelic football and hurling.
Facebook is for old people now, let’s head over to Twitter where there is always plenty of great discussion going on.
Twitter is a hotbed full of the interesting action where you can get plenty of great content. Use the hashtag #GAA to see fans and official hurling twitter accounts. There is always something going on in the world of hurling so type that hashtag in the search and go interact with fans from all over the world.
Allianz Hurling League
The Allianz Hurling League is the premier league in the sport of hurling. The league runs from January to March of any given year and there are promotion and relegation within the league which was borrowed from the English Premier League. Allianz has been the sponsor of the league since 1999 and Kilkenny are the current league champions. The top division is split up into two divisions of six teams and then a round robin is played with the top four teams from 1A and 1B advancing to a playoff to determine the league champion. Tipperary is the team with the most titles all-time with 19.
There are many different hurling championships on the province level, some of them were abolished and some of them are still held every year with great rewards for the winners.
Connacht GAA Hurling
Connacht GAA Hurling used to be a great event that was held in the Connacht province but the last time it was held was in 1999. There is not enough popularity in the region to warrant a Senior Hurling Championship in Connacht. The championship used to be a qualifier for the All-Ireland Hurling Championship where the teams would automatically qualify for the semifinals if they won the championship.
Let’s talk about a championship that is still around!
Leinster GAA Hurling
The Leinster province has their own Senior Hurling Championship that is held every single year in June and July with the final being on the first Sunday in July. The teams that are involved are Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Offaly, and Wexford. The winners of the championship are awarded the Bob O’Keeffe Cup and they automatically qualify for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semifinals.
Munster GAA Hurling
This Senior Hurling Championship was founded back in 1888 and it has been held every single year since then. The format was changed in 2018 to a round-robin system where the teams play each other in order to determine the champion. This is a great way to find who the best county is in the province and determine who will get to automatically qualify for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semifinals.
The last Ulster province senior hurling championship was last held in 2017.
Ulster GAA Hurling
The Ulster Senior Hurling Championship was founded in 1901 and was played every single year up to 2017. In early 2018, it was announced that the championship would not be played for three years while the Ulster GAA decided if the championship should continue. It is sad for Ulster hurling that they no longer have their own Senior Championship and it speaks volumes about the Irish youth and points to a changing future.
Now let’s go into the best hurling championship in the world.
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship brings together the best counties in Ireland to fight for the title of best hurling county in the entire world. The provincial winners advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals and the losing provincial finalists advance to the two quarter-finals. The third-placed teams in Leinster and Munster compete in All-Ireland preliminary quarter-finals against the two Joe McDonagh Cup finalists. It can be a little confusing at first but once you get the hang of it you can easily follow the action from wherever you are. Limerick are going to be looking to defend their title in 2019. What do the winners get besides fame and glory?
The winners of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship are awarded the Liam MacCarthy Cup. The trophy was first awarded in 1923 to the winner of 1921 final due to the fact that 1921 was delayed. The original trophy was retired in 1991 and an identical trophy was created in 1992 and has been used ever since. The captains of the winning team receive a replica of the trophy to take home. The design of the trophy is based on a medieval drinking vessel called a mather. The trophy is named after Liam MacCarthy who was heavily involved in setting up the GAA back in the late 1800s.
Now that we know all about the event, how do we get tickets?
You can buy tickets for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship at: http://gaa.ie/tickets/
Tickets typically go on sale a few weeks before the actual final game but earlier in the year you can buy tickets to the Senior Hurling Championships at the province level. The tickets are usually priced very low for province championships but tickets can be as high as $1,500 for the final of the whole tournament.
GAA hurling is a great sport to get into if you are a fan of sports and you are looking for something different. You can watch the sport no matter where you are in the world and if you have any Irish heritage then you can enjoy the sport of your ancestors. There are constant games throughout the year and plenty of different competitions so you can get to know the sport well before the big final at the end of August.