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RTÉ Respond To Criticism For 'Geoblocking' Olympic Coverage In Northern Ireland

RTÉ Respond To Criticism For 'Geoblocking' Olympic Coverage In Northern Ireland
By Gary Connaughton
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There are few things that can unite people all over this island like the Olympics. With athletes from throughout the country representing Team Ireland in various sports, there is a real sense that the majority of people both north and south gets behind the team.

However, some had been disappointed that they were not able to full avail of RTÉ's coverage of the exploits of our athletes.

Social Democratic and Labour Party MLA Justin McNulty had questioned the broadcaster's decision to geoblocking their coverage of the games in Northern Ireland, with viewers in the six counties unable to view the Olympics on the channel:

This is far from the first instance of RTÉ blocking broadcasts to the North during a programme of importance to people from across the island - we have seen this with sports in the past, including soccer and GAA, as well as online competitions.

Beyond that, we have even seen RTÉ cut the North out of graphic representations of the map of our island.

The latest RTÉ decision not to broadcast the Olympics, despite a number of athletes from the North representing Team Ireland in Tokyo, will be a great disappointment to many.

Whole families will be gathered around the television to watch their loved ones compete at the pinnacle of their chosen sport, only to find that our national broadcaster have blocked them from watching their coverage.


RTÉ have now responded to this criticism.

In a statement on their website, they said that the matter is out of their control, with the IOC only allowing BBC and Eurosport to broadcast the games in Northern Ireland.

In response to a number of inaccurate and misleading claims regarding RTÉ coverage of Tokyo 2020, RTÉ wishes to clarify the following:

RTÉ has rights to broadcast Olympic Games coverage in the Republic of Ireland only.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC), who are the rights owners for Olympics Games coverage and make all decisions about how rights are allocated across the different territories, have included Northern Ireland as part of UK broadcast territory for Olympics coverage. As such, the rights holders for NI are BBC and Discovery (on Eurosport).

RTÉ has no control over IOC decisions in this regard.

Unfortunately for viewers in Northern Ireland, there is little that RTÉ can do on this occasion.

SEE ALSO: Aidan Walsh Pays Tribute To Sister Michaela After Securing Olympic Medal In Tokyo


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