RTE to charge American Internet users for access to online programming

The Irish Diaspora will be asked to pay per view by state broadcaster RTE under new plans to boost income at the station.

The Irish Diaspora will be asked to pay per view by state broadcaster RTE under new plans to boost income at the station.

The Sunday Independent claims that RTE is ready to bring in a ‘pay wall’ system online aimed at America, Australia and Britain.

The move is closely based on the system currently used BBC to monetise content on the internet.

RTE wants to charge overseas customers for viewing shows on its online player service.

The report says the new premium player service will be confined to 1.5 million viewers from abroad, primarily watching from the US, Australia and the UK.

An RTE source told the paper: “RTE is looking at entering a space where you don’t get everything for free. It is a significant shift.”

The Sunday Independent also reports that the broadcaster is in talks with Google at a ‘high level’ to share content.

The paper says the landmark move could reshape the Irish media sector.

The report says that discussions between Google and RTE centre around digitising RTE’s vast television and radio archive. A Google spokeswoman said: “No formal discussions have taken place.”

The move comes after director general Noel Curran told staff of the company’s financial state at a series of meetings.

The paper says that Curran is understood to have told staff that RTE may ‘break even’ this year following a massive cost-cutting programme which has seen 450 staff leave over the last two years.

The source added: “The worst of the cuts are over. RTE have stabilised the losses and we’re now in control of our finances.”

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