herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

HD TV costs €1,400 a viewer

THE number of people who've signed up to RTE's first ever High Definition (HD) match would fit inside the Aviva for our Six Nations clash with Wales.

And it would be cheaper to fly each person there by helicopter, buy them dinner in Chapter One and put them up in the Merrion than the cost of pumping digital footage into each Saorview subscriber's home.

Saorview has signed up just 49,000 subscribers -- more than half-a-million less than Sky -- which works out at a staggering cost of €1,428 per subscriber.

The State broadcaster will make history on Sunday when our opening Six Nations match against Wales is shown on HD.

However only an estimated 49,000 households have signed up to the highly publicised Saorview since it was launched by RTE last year.

And although close to half-a-million people are expected to tune into Sunday's Six Nation campaign opener, a mere 10pc of viewers will be watching the action in high definition.

The digital system Saorview will replace the old analogue television service -- households who still use an aerial to obtain the signal will lose Irish television programming when the analogue signal is switched off.

The service carries eight channels and is now available to 97pc of households nationwide. It involves purchasing a set-top box.

The system was unveiled to much fanfare in May last year when it was revealed that the broadcaster would invest €70m in the system.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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