RTÉ issues response to "inaccurate and misleading claims" about its Olympic coverage 1 year ago

RTÉ issues response to "inaccurate and misleading claims" about its Olympic coverage

The broadcaster has faced some criticism for its coverage.

RTÉ has responded to what it called "inaccurate and misleading" claims about its coverage of the Olympics in Tokyo.

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The claims relate to RTÉ's coverage of the Olympics and its unavailability to viewers in Northern Ireland.

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty criticised the ‘geoblock’ on viewers in the north, saying it was ridiculous that people in the North would not be able to cheer on local and national athletes representing Ireland on our national broadcaster.

“This is far from the first instance of RTÉ blocking broadcasts to the North during a programme of importance to people from across the island - we have seen this with sports in the past, including soccer and GAA, as well as online competitions," he said.

"Beyond that, we have even seen RTÉ cut the North out of graphic representations of the map of our island."

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He added: “I have written to RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes to raise my concerns and ask her to explain the repeated issues in broadcasting certain programmes to the North.

"As someone who lives in and represents a border area, it’s ridiculous that our neighbours in Monaghan and Louth can enjoy full coverage of the Olympics on RTÉ while we are often met with a blank screen.”

RTÉ responded by saying that it had no control over the situation and that Northern Ireland had been designated as part of the UK broadcast territory by the International Olympics Committee.

“In response to a number of inaccurate and misleading claims regarding RTÉ coverage of Tokyo 2020″, the broadcaster said.

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“RTÉ wishes to clarify the following: RTÉ has rights to broadcast Olympic Games coverage in the Republic of Ireland only.

“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. As such, the rights holders for NI are BBC and Discovery (on Eurosport).

“RTÉ has no control over IOC decisions in this regard.”