RTÉ has struck a deal with internet streaming service Netflix to bring popular television series such as The Clinic, Killnaskully, Trivia and Mattie to the online platform in Ireland and the UK.
“We are thrilled to partner with RTÉ to add these great Irish TV shows to our growing catalogue of serialised TV,” said Kelly Merryman, vice-president of Content Acquisition. “We know these TV favourites will be enjoyed by our members in Ireland and are excited for them to find a new audience as we introduce them to our Irish and UK members.”
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, RTÉ Digital’s director of content and strategy Aisling McCabe explained that from 15 September viewers with connected TVs, tablet computers, games consoles and smartphones will be able to watch entire series of shows like The Clinic going back to the start.
“This is attracting a whole new audience,” McCabe explained. “From our perspective, TV viewing is still increasing and 90pc today watch programmes live. It’s true that with the new digital platforms the audiences are fragmenting because there’s more choice out there thanks to broadband and smart devices.”
Netflix, for example, works seamlessly across 800 different connected devices.
While DVD box sets were the traditional way of watching back episodes of favourite TV shows, McCabe says the instant access through Netflix is proving very appealing for today’s connected viewer.
“Anywhere there is demand for content we are looking at the opportunity. RTÉ has an entire catalogue and we’re actively looking at this to see what the audience would be interested in consuming online and then of course the other challenge is digitisation of old shows and copyright clearances, for example.”
McCabe said that the availability of popular TV shows on catch-up services like RTÉ’s own RTÉ Player app and on services like Netflix is intended to have the effect of drawing online audiences back to live programming.
“If people discover a popular TV series they are likely to watch it back to back, for example, a week of watching The Clinic or Trivia, before the new series goes live on TV and they’ll watch it live. Online and live are quite complementary and we’ve seen research that indicates catch-up and video-on-demand are actually driving people back to the linear schedule.
“There are shows that people will have missed first time on TV but once they’ve discovered it online and it’s had an impact they’ll most likely consume the new season when it goes live on TV,” McCabe explained.