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“Non-Irish” Need Not Apply

June 19, 2009

Ireland’s national TV station RTE used to allow people from all over the world to access some of their news and entertainment programs free online. It was wonderful to sit back and watch the nightly news and catch up on happenings in Ireland. Those addicted to certain series could continue with their Irish “fix”. But recently RTE has restricted their TV shows to only those living in Ireland.

This web page explains it:

It says:
How is access restricted? Where access is restricted, the mechanism for doing so is based on the computer’s IP address. An IP address is the numerical address that each computer has on the web. It is provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). An ISP is the company that provides Internet connections to private and business customers. Examples of ISPs are Eircom, BT, Smart Telecom, UTV, NTL and Irish Broadband.”

Evidently even if you are Irish but are not in the country at the moment you cannot access RTE TV programs because your IP will indicate you are in another country. It makes one wonder why a wall is being built around Ireland to block out Internet access to its TV shows. RTE cites copyright issues. Perhaps pay per view is in in the not too distant future?

Fortunately, some Irish radio shows can still be listened to by non-Irish.

Come on Ireland…share your culture with the world. Don’t just keep it to yourselves. The more people around the world that enjoy your culture, the more will want to visit. In this economy doesn’t Ireland want and need more visitors?

Michele Erdvig

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    June 19, 2009 5:53 PM

    I know that the BBC does the same with their online videos – I have several friends in Ireland and Scotland, and was very frustrated when one of them sent me the link to a video they wanted me to watch and was informed by the website that I wasn’t allowed to view it. As far as I know the american tv networks dont put those restrictions on their online content!

  2. June 19, 2009 6:00 PM

    This is too bad. I know firsthand how expensive internet bandwidth can be, but sometimes there is a need to look beyond the bottom line.

    With the number of Irish abroad, I would expect many Irish people will be disappointed with this change… in addition to the many non-Irish who would otherwise not get the chance to watch Irish television.

    The online television site Hulu has similar restrictions for those outside the US. However, they just “package” shows from various networks.

    I’ve heard of people using sites like to get around the IP Address restriction, but it doesn’t work in every situation (in fact, just heard today that Hulu “knows” when visitors are using that feature).

    Let’s hope this policy changes soon.

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