RTÉ 'in no way blocks' new series on history of hurling after northern viewers express frustration at blackout

The first episode of 'The Game' was aired on RTÉ on Monday but some northern viewers were left disappointed at being unable to watch the programme. Picture by RTÉ
John Monaghan

RTÉ has urged northern viewers experiencing problems accessing a programme on the history of hurling to contact their internet provider insisting it "in no way" blocked the new series.

The first episode of 'The Game', a three-part series on hurling, was aired on RTÉ One on Monday.

However, some viewers in the north have experienced difficulties in accessing the programme online via the RTÉ Player, despite the fact that the rights for the broadcast cover the 32 counties.

One social media user said: "I was able to start watching this today on my phone. Then at home tonight couldn't watch it due to location."

RTÉ and TG4 programmes are often 'geo-blocked' for northern web users whose devices incorrectly default to locations in England.

Last month RTÉ said it dealt with "dozens" of complaints from frustrated GAA fans who were left unable to watch a live broadcast of the All-Ireland qualifier between Armagh and Roscommon.

It comes as Sinn Féin senator Niall Ó Donnghaile and South Down MLA Sinéad Ennis held meetings in Dublin with the GAA and RTÉ to discuss 'geo-blocking'.

Mr Ó Donnghaile said: "We intend to hold further meetings with satellite providers and other sporting bodies to discuss the campaign and what measures they can take to ensure fair, equal and unhindered access to important national, sporting events."

An RTÉ spokesman said it "in no way blocks or facilitates the blocking of 'The Game' in Northern Ireland".

"It is available to all viewers on all platforms and on RTÉ Player in all 32 counties.

"In the case of viewers experiencing difficulties in viewing 'The Game' in Northern Ireland online they are advised to get in touch with their internet service provider to query it.

"Usually the provider is pointing customers towards mainland UK rather than island of Ireland causing some programming to be automatically blocked in error."

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