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Viewers in north blocked by RTÉ from watching online clip of scenes of celebration in Dublin following Harrington success

An RTÉ news report which showed celebratory scenes in Portland Row in Dublin after boxer Kellie Harrington won gold in Tokyo was unable to be watched by viewers in Northern Ireland
Marie Louise McConville

RTÉ last night said it had "no control" over a decision which meant viewers in the north were blocked from watching a news report online which showed celebrations in Dublin following boxer Kellie Harrington's Olympic gold win.

A clip showing family and friends of the 31-year-old boxer partying at Portland Row in the city, was unavailable to viewers in the north on the RTÉ website.

The clip showed Ms Harrington's parents and supporters celebrating following the fighter's win over Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira in Tokyo which was Ireland's 11th ever Olympic gold medal and their second at the 2020 games.

However, when viewers from Northern Ireland clicked on the clip, a message on screen read: "This content is not available in your location".

An RTÉ spokesman said the news report featured footage from the fight in Tokyo, which the broadcaster is not allowed to show in the north for contractual reasons.

He said the broadcaster has "rights to broadcast Tokyo 2020 coverage in the Republic of Ireland only, and I assume this relates to all footage in all uses.

RTE last night said it had "no control" over a decision which meant viewers in Northern Ireland were banned from watching a report online which showed celebrations in Dublin following boxer Kellie Harrington's Olympic gold win

"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 and as such the rights holders for NI are BBC and Discovery (on Eurosport).

"RTÉ has no control over IOC decisions in this regard".

Last week the broadcaster was asked if it "protested against" the decision of the Olympics governing body to refuse it the rights to broadcast the games to Northern Ireland viewers.

There have been complaints about geo-blocking after viewers were unable to tune in to the broadcaster’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Games via their subscription to Sky.

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