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Emails from annoyed viewers abroad led to RTÉ's new international player

The RTÉ fans wanted to know why they couldn’t watch their favourite shows on the existing player.

RTEPlayerInternational7 Source: Shane O'Neill

EMAILS FROM IRISH people living abroad contributed towards RTÉ developing its new RTÉ Player International app, the broadcaster said today.

It means that people living across the world can now catch up on all of RTÉ’s content at any time, so they’re not missing out on their favourite shows.

At a star-packed launch in the Royal Hibernian Academy, presenter Ryan Tubridy unveiled the new app, which is based on a ‘freemium’ model.

That means that some programmes are free, and others have to be paid for. The app can be downloaded for free, with 100 hours of free content available. But if you want the full offering, you need to pay a monthly subscription for €8.99/$8.99/£6.99 (you won’t see ads if you go for this option).

RTEPlayerInternational6 Source: Shane O'Neill

Múirne Laffan, Managing Director of RTÉ Digital, said the player was partly inspired by the many, many emails asking “why can’t I watch this show?”.

At one point, they had 1000 emails from disgruntled people itching to watch their favourite RTÉ content.

Interestingly, Aoife Byrne, director of content and products at RTÉ, said that the most beloved content among the diaspora is comedy programmes.

One bonus with the app is that you can go back and watch a young Chris O’Dowd or Amy Huberman in The Clinic, as older shows will be available on the player in ‘box set’ format.

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Kevin Bakhurst, the Deputy Director General of RTÉ, said that the new service ”not only greatly strengthens our offering to international audiences, providing them with a new way to connect to home, but also serves as an important new international platform for Irish content creators.”

Comedian Oliver Callan agreed that having a new global audience can mean more exposure for Irish TV stars.

Moya Doherty, who is on the RTÉ board, shared a story of how she texted Gay Byrne while listening to him on her phone while in a New York yellow cab. His phone beeped in the studio, as he never turned it off, she laughed.

More information on the player can be found at its official site.

Read:  Check out the letter Gerry Ryan sent to Ian Dempsey on his first day at RTÉ>

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