RTE to charge for content abroad

Some older news we came across today, is that RTÉ have plans to offer certain programs to audiences outside Ireland, for a fee. RTÉ Director General, Noel Curran, announced this back in April, and we guess it’s somehow linked to the new Broadcasting Charge that replaces the TV licence. Curran said that Irish users will continue to enjoy RTÉ’s programming online for free but people outside of Ireland may have to pay to watch RTE online. It’s not yet clear if this also covers people located in Northern Ireland or not. Currently users in Northern Ireland can watch all of RTE’s Players content online.

We are not sure if this is planned to be a revenue making exercise, or if it’s just a way to cover distribution costs. Online broadcasting does have it’s associated fees, but bandwidth charges have really fallen in the past 5 years. With an every increasing number of Irish people abroad or newly moved abroad, we expect that there is a sizeable number of people who want to watch Irish TV in the USA / Australia and in Europe.

RTÉ following BBC’s lead

In 2011 BBC announced their BBC iPlayer Global, where people outside the UK could watch a selection of new and archived shows via a special iPhone / iPad app. The app currently has over 1,000 hours of TV available, and costs $9.49 / month.

Curran plans to have this launched in the next couple of months, you can read more about his interview at the University of Limerick here. We wonder will people across the world be faced with these extra charges to keep abreast of Fair City, The Late Late and other shows.

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