Monday, February 01, 2010

Swap you TG4 for BBC [u]

What will this mean in practice for TV watchers south of the border?
Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan has signed an agreement with the British government to ensure the continuing widespread availability of TG4 in Northern Ireland following the switchover from analogue to digital TV services, which is planned there for 2012.

The agreement commits the two governments to facilitating RTÉ services in Northern Ireland and BBC services in the Republic of Ireland on a free-to-air basis.

The minister said the agreement provided for an all-island approach to the development of digital television services in Ireland.

Do we get some sort of free access to all digital BBC channels without the need for a satellite dish? It seems so - whenever we in the Republic actually get around to establishing a working DTT system.

Will we be able to get around geo-blocks on iPlayer or watch Match of the Day online without resorting to underhand proxy tactics? Now that might make the money thrown at TG4 worth something.

Also, it's nice to know that we still have an approach to the development of digital television here. It seems to be a very slow approach from a long way off, but it's an approach all the same.

[update] You can get the memorandum itself here [PDF, 21kb].

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