14/04/2005

RTÉ and TG4 set for Sky Digital homes in NI

Irish state broadcaster RTÉ and Irish language channel TG4 are to become available to Northern Ireland’s Sky Digital customers from next Monday, it was announced today.

RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and TG4 have been available on Sky Digital for viewers in the Republic of Ireland for the past three years. The new channels are becoming available north of the border for the first time, but there are likely to be some restrictions to programming, including live Premiership football and certain US shows.

Noel Curran, Managing Director of RTÉ Television, said: "We have always believed that RTÉ services should be available to as wide an audience as possible on all platforms and today is another step towards achieving that goal. We are delighted that RTÉ television is now available on a digital platform on an all-Ireland basis."

TG4’s Pól Ó Gallchóir said that the extension of the Irish language channel to Sky's Northern Ireland customers was a “very welcome development”.

"Since coming on-air in 1996, we have been inundated with requests from the north about how people could access our service," he said.

Mark Deering, Director of Sky Ireland, said he was delighted to welcome all three channels to the Sky Digital platform in Northern Ireland.

“The availability of these channels will further strengthen Sky's digital offering in Northern Ireland,” he added.

Sky Digital is available in over 7.6 million homes in the UK and Ireland (29% of total UK and Ireland households). In the Republic of Ireland, Sky Digital is available in 347,000 homes (25% of all households).

(MB/GB)

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