RTÉ has become one of the first broadcasters in the world to launch a comprehensive international online TV catch-up service (RTÉ Player) for those with an Irish connection living abroad. The RTÉ Player was originally launched in Ireland in April 2009. Worldwide audiences can now catch-up on RTÉ Television programmes for up to 21 days through an integrated online media player. The international version of the RTÉ Player carries a range of programmes that have been cleared for international audiences. Content available includes all RTÉ News and Current Affairs programming (eg: Prime Time, The Frontline, Nationwide), flagship entertainment programming (eg: The Late Late Show), documentaries and a range of arts and music programming, including The View. Subject to rights clearance in 2010, sports content available for catch-up will include League of Ireland matches and Monday Night Soccer in March. Rugby Extra, which gives extended post-match analysis of Ireland's RBS 6-Nations matches will be available in February. As the GAA season returns in May, The Sunday Game will be available on RTÉ Player. There will also be basketball, boxing, greyhound racing, the RDS Dublin Horse Show and a host of special events available throughout the year. In addition to the catch-up services, News Now, RTÉ's 24 hour live and looped online news service will be also available to global audiences.
RTÉ News Now and RTÉ Radio iPhone Apps
RTÉ has launched an international iPhone application version of RTÉ News Now. This enables international iPhone and iPod Touch users to watch a video feed of live or looped RTÉ Television News anywhere in the world [subject to network availability], as well as reading the latest news, business, sport and entertainment stories from RTÉ.
RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2fm have also launched iPhone Apps.
Speaking on the launch of the international service Director-General Cathal Goan said: "RTÉ has always been very conscious of the role it plays in providing an important link to home for Irish people living abroad. In the last year this has of course become all the more important as emigration has increased, particularly among younger people. With the addition of this new service to our already globally accessible radio and online services I think it is clear that RTÉ's commitment to those with an Irish connection either living or traveling abroad is very strong. "
Múirne Laffan, Executive Director of RTÉ Publishing says: "RTÉ delivers content to over 2.9 million unique users each month through RTÉ.ie of which 1.1 million are overseas. The development of the international version of RTÉ Player offers an enhanced and more engaging service to these audiences. This is part of an exciting roadmap for RTÉ Publishing, as the projected growth of mobile, smart phones and IPTV offers us more opportunities to extend RTÉ's reach. We aim to grow our audiences by optimising international availability of our services and targeting new products to both Irish Communities and cohorts with an interest in Irish Television, News, Sport and Entertainment".
About RTÉ Player
The RTÉ Player was launched for domestic use in April 2009. Since its launch 5.4 million programmes have been viewed and by December 2009, up to 1 million programmes were viewed on the RTÉ Player per month with 288,000 unique users. RTÉ Player has been developed using the latest MPEG 4 video compression technology and Flash media player. This ensures the best user experience with fast access and high audio-visual quality. For viewers with
a broadband connection, access is free, simple and instant.
(RTE press release)