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There should be no "digital border" for coverage of sporting events - Ó Donnghaile

20 November, 2016 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has criticised the ongoing policy of sporting events being blocked to satellite subscribing viewers in the North.

Speaking after yesterday's clash between Ireland and New Zealand was the latest event to be blocked Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;

"Viewers in the North are becoming increasingly frustrated with the constant blocking of major sporting events, especially those with our national teams, on RTÉ when watching via satellite.

"Since the end of analogue TV some years ago, the vast bulk of people in the Six Counties, have satellite subscriptions and this is the only way they can avail of watching important sporting fixtures.

"Throughout Ireland's recent participation in the Euro's, boxing competitions, Saturday's rugby clash between Ireland and New Zealand as well as a wide range of other programmes, people are increasingly fed up at this digital partition blocking them from watching significant milestones in the sporting life of our country.

"While appreciating that thus far this matter has been down to licensing and contractual issues, equal access for viewers in the North obviously hasn't factored in the way that it needs to. Next week in the Seanad I will be calling on the Minister for Communications to engage with RTÉ and satellite providers to ensure that sports supporters across the whole of the country can avail of watching their heroes take part in the sport they love."

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