GAA on Sky Sports in 2018
Last Updated: 27/12/17 12:53pm
It's all change in 2018 for the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championships, and if 2017 is anything to go by we are in for another dramatic year.
While the formats in both codes have been much debated and offer plenty of intrigue, Sky Sports will track the drama throughout the season with 20 live games, including the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals.
Our fantastic team of experts including Peter Canavan, JJ Delaney and Jamesie O'Connor will continue to offer unparalleled in-depth analysis as the All Ireland Championships go through one of the biggest shake-ups we have ever seen.
The action on the pitch promises to be just as dramatic after a thrilling 2017 saw Dublin claim the Sam Maguire Cup in football and Galway win a first Liam McCarthy Cup since 1988 with their hurling triumph.
And in some ways it's a step into the unknown as a few alterations to the current formats across the Hurling and Gaelic Football championships headline an overhaul that kicks in this year and includes changes to the respective provincial championships as well as underage sport.
The GAA has adopted a new 'Super 8' format from 2018, on a three-year trial basis, which will apply to the football championship at the quarter-final stage.
Two groups comprising of four teams has been created, with Group One to host the Munster champions, Connacht champions, Ulster runner-up and Leinster runner-up - or any qualifier teams that beat either the Ulster or Leinster runners-up in Round 4.
Group Two will consist of the Ulster champions, Leinster champions, Munster runner-up and Connacht runner-up - or any potential qualifier team that beats either the Munster or Connacht runners-up in Round 4.
Each team will play one home game, one away game and, in an exciting new step, a game at Croke Park. The semi-finals will accordingly be comprised of the top two teams from each group.
The Leinster and Munster Senior Championships will be played on a round-robin basis from the 2018 season, with the new format agreed until 2020.
Each provincial championship will consist of five counties, who will all play two home games and two away games, replacing the traditional knockout structure.
From there, the two top teams in each province will qualify for the provincial finals, while the consequent winners will progress to the All-Ireland semi-final stage.
A new provincial second tier competition has also been created, to be called the Joe McDonagh Cup, and it will include Antrim, Carlow, Kerry, Laois, Meath and Westmeath for 2018.
The winner of this second-tier competition will be promoted to their respective provincial championship the following year.
There have also been changes at underage level for hurling, with Galway and 'any suitable Ulster teams' to be accepted into the Leinster U21 and Minor Hurling Championships.