Ireland’s national broadcaster, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) has launched a new global online Irish television service for international audiences including 500 hours of original Irish content.

The RTÉ Player International app, launched on iOS, provides free and paid-for Irish television content, including just-aired television content refreshed daily. Currently 2.2 million unique international viewers watch RTÉ online and with this new app Ireland just got a lot closer for the hundreds of thousands of Irish people living abroad.

This new app will allow viewers all over the world to watch just-aired TV, box sets, and popular shows, such as “The Late Late Show,” “Six One News,” and “Prime Time.” Various other popular shows will also be available for a fee of €8.99 ($8.99). It will also feature editorially selected collections of content, themed around events, seasons, genres and people to bring a unique selection of contemporary and classic Irish television to audiences internationally.

The brand ambassador for the RTÉ Player International presenter Ryan Tubridy spoke about “the power of the player” at the launch and said “I know from feedback from international viewers of 'The Late Late Show' that no matter where or how long you are living abroad, sometimes you just need that connection to home, whether that's hearing the Irish accent, catching up with news and events or getting a dose of Irish humor.

Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources said, “The RTÉ Player International has a really significant part to play now in this task of reaching out to the broader Irish community abroad and not just the Irish people abroad but to people around the world who are interested in Ireland.”

He continued, “Spreading the word about Ireland, our culture, our history, and what kind of country it is to live in and do business in."

Speaking at the launch Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Diaspora Affairs, said the app will provide the Diaspora “with a quick, convenient and immediate link with home which ensures they remain connected and engaged in the public and cultural life in Ireland.”

“As Ireland’s first Minister for the Diaspora I have met with many members of our Irish community all over the world. The ability to hear Irish voices and see Irish programming is an extremely tangible connection with home. This new service will remind them that Ireland is just a click away.”

“RTÉ remains a very important connection point for Irish people living abroad,” said Kevin Bakhurst, Deputy Director General, RTÉ and Managing Director, RTÉ News and Current Affairs.

“It 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.”

RTÉ Player International will be a ‘freemium’ offering. This means that audiences will be able to download the app for free and access 100 hours of free content, refreshed daily. The full content offering can be accessed and watched free of advertising for a monthly subscription of €8.99 ($8.99/ £6.99) through the App Store. This subscription helps to cover the cost of securing the international rights for the content and for delivering this premium quality video-on-demand service.

The new enhanced RTÉ Player International service is available for iOS devices, supporting iOS7 or greater. The original RTÉ Player service for international audiences remains available on desktop and android.

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The new app for international audiences (outside of Ireland) can be downloaded from the App Store.