Monday 5 December 2016

Calls for RTE to clarify why Northern Ireland users being charged for some content

Published 18/08/2015 | 16:24

Back row from l to r, are Claire Byrne, aisling O'Neill, Aoibheann McGarrity, Sophie Robinson, Mairead Farrell and Mary Kennedy. Front row, Una Foden, beth McNulty, kelly Thornton and Sinead Kennedy at the RTE new season launch at the Smock Alley Theatre. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Back row from l to r, are Claire Byrne, aisling O'Neill, Aoibheann McGarrity, Sophie Robinson, Mairead Farrell and Mary Kennedy. Front row, Una Foden, beth McNulty, kelly Thornton and Sinead Kennedy at the RTE new season launch at the Smock Alley Theatre. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

FIANNA Fáil has called on RTÉ to clarify why it is charging Northern Ireland subscribers for some of the content on the State broadcaster’s RTÉ Player app.

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The party’s spokesperson on border region development Brendan Smith said users of the app in the North are currently forced to use the ‘international’ version which was not the case previously.

Mr Smith said the idea that the app would only be available to customers in the Republic would be a “retrograde step” and said he will be raising the issue with Communications Minister Alex White at the earliest opportunity.

 “Over recent weeks I have received a number of representations from members of the public in Northern Ireland complaining that they no longer have access to RTE Player app they have been using since its launch and are instead being forced to change to an ‘international’ version of the application,” Mr Smith said.

He added: “This new app has greatly reduced access to domestic programmes, is clearly intended for overseas users and requires a €120 subscription to unlock content that is free on the regular service.

For now, I’m prepared to give RTÉ the benefit of the doubt and hope that it is simply a mistake made by some over enthusiastic programmers unfamiliar with the all-Ireland dimension required of RTÉ. I am seeking an early commitment from RTÉ management to reverse this development immediately.”

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