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Confusion As To Why Dublin V Armagh Was Geoblocked On Sky In Northern Ireland

Confusion As To Why Dublin V Armagh Was Geoblocked On Sky In Northern Ireland
Jonathan Byrne
By Jonathan Byrne
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Last Saturday night, Armagh put on an impressive display in beating Dublin 2-15 to 1-13 at Croke Park broadcast on RTÉ2.

It was an exciting weekend of GAA action as intercounty football returned to our television screens and the Allianz National League campaign got underway.

We were treated to several great games on Sunday too, with three high-profile draws in Kildare v Kerry, Mayo v Donegal, and Tyrone v Monaghan.

That's not to mention the AIB All-Ireland Club Championship semi-finals which included setting up the meeting of Kilmacud Crokes and Kilcoo in the senior football final.

However, many viewers in Northern Ireland were left to follow the score online on Saturday night and missed watching the brilliant match live. Sky TV subscribers in Northern Ireland were prevented from watching the game on RTÉ.


Viewers using an aerial or Freeview could see the match however, as could Virgin subscribers.

Confusion as to why this happened

We reached out to RTÉ for comment. RTÉ confirmed that league games are available to all viewers on the island. It added that it was not responsible for the signal being blocked:


RTÉ is aware that the Saturday GAA Live game between Dublin and Armagh was unavailable to some viewers in Northern Ireland. This was an error by parties outside of RTÉ as Allianz National League games are available to RTÉ viewers across the island of Ireland. RTÉ did not block the signal or cause the signal to be blocked by 3rd parties.

Group Head of Sport, Declan McBennett, also tweeted on the night of the game to try and settle the confusion:

"RTÉ did not geo-block any GAA content tonight. Great win for ⁦Armagh GAA and great to have high-quality league games on ⁦RTÉ Sport."



However, Sky strongly refutes the claim that they are to blame for the geoblocking. Both parties have assured us that all is being done to make sure the error doesn't happen again.

RTÉ says they have 'all-island' rights and do everything in their power to exercise them. There may have been a scheduling mistake associated with the electronic programming guides.

Geoblocking is a constant annoyance for residents of Northern Ireland hoping to watch television in the Republic, especially sport. Back in August, part of Tyrone's All-Ireland semi-final win was briefly geoblocked.


It's a confusing situation for those hoping to catch games and one which will have to be addressed as the intercounty calendar progresses. Dublin play Kerry on Saturday evening which will pique the interest of everyone on the island.

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