How to watch RTE in the UK

Watch TV with Remote

If you tried to watch RTE in the UK like I did then you’ll know just like me that you’re blocked from viewing.

So I went looking for a way to watch RTE in the UK and surprisingly it’s really easy.

RTE have an online streaming service called RTE Player that lets you watch both live and catch-up TV.

In this article, I’m going to show you how you can watch RTE in the UK.

How to unblock RTE in the UK

If you’ve visited RTE Player in the UK or anywhere outside Ireland then you’ll be blocked from watching and instead of seeing the shows you want to watch you’ll see a big fat block message like or similar to this:

RTE Player Blocked

RTE Player Blocked

The reason you’re blocked is because you’re outside Ireland, but it’s extremely easy to avoid this block.

To do this you’re going to need a VPN service.

A VPN allows you to alter your online location so when you visit RTE Player it thinks you’re in Ireland even though you’re in the UK or anywhere else in the world.

Where can I get a VPN

VPN services cost around £4 – £7 depending on how long you sign up for.

There are thousands of companies offering their service, all you need to do is a quick search of Google.

Unfortunately, there are some bad VPN services that are just too slow for streaming video which will leave you with buffering and poor playback.

I’ve tested a selection of the most well-known VPN providers and found that ExpressVPN works best to watch RTE in the UK.

ExpressVPN is one of the only providers that allow access to the original Irish RTE Player. Other VPN services only give access to the international RTE Player which has less content.

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All you need to do is click on the ExpressVPN name above to visit their website

Once there, sign up and then keep reading below where I’ll show you how you can use the VPN to watch RTE in the UK or elsewhere around the world.

Alternative providers you could use are:

  1. NordVPN
  2. CyberGhost VPN

How to use the VPN

Once you’ve signed up to ExpressVPN above you’ll need to download their software.

Software for Windows and Mac is available on the ExpressVPN website or you can also download apps for Android or iOS mobiles or tablets from your app store.

Once downloaded and installed you should log in if required. Afterwards, select an Ireland server and hit Connect.

Once the software or app has connected all you need to do is visit the RTE Player website.

That’s all there is to it.

Below I’ve put together a more detailed Step-By-Step guide using ExpressVPN on a Windows computer but the process is much the same with the other VPN providers and also on other systems.

  1. Visit the ExpressVPN website.
  2. Press Get ExpressVPN and sign-up.
  3. Visit the VPN Apps area of their website and download the Windows software.
  4. Install and run it.
  5. Sign-in when required.
  6. Select Ireland from the Selected Location area.
  7. Press Connect.
ExpressVPN Ireland

Unlock RTE in the UK with ExpressVPN.

The ExpressVPN software will now make a connection which should only take about 15 seconds.

Once connected all that is left to do is visit the RTE Player website where you’ll be able to watch all of your favourite shows and live TV from within the UK or anywhere in the world.

Why am I blocked in the first place?

The reason you’re blocked from watching RTE in the UK is because of your IP Address.

Every internet connection is assigned an IP Address. It’s similar to a phone number and it’s unique to you and your local connection at the time you’re connected.

Unfortunately, your IP Address also gives away your location and it’s how RTE blocked you from viewing their RTE Player.

Luckily though a VPN allows you to get a new IP Address from another country. In the case of RTE Player, an IP Address from Ireland that allows you to pretend you’re located there.


To gain access to RTE in the UK, you’ll need access to a VPN such as ExpressVPN.

By using ExpressVPN you’ll be able to bypass any regional restrictions that are in place on RTE and it’s content.

You’ll be able to watch RTE from anywhere in the world at the click of a button. Get ExpressVPN now and enjoy watching RTE in the UK!

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Author: Christopher Seward

Having used the internet since 1994, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.


  1. Nollaig

    Are these the same steps to watch the RTEplayer from a Samsung smart TV except chooising the installation for Android rather than WIndows?

    • Hi Nollaig,

      In theory it would be the same steps but this would be dependent on 1) Your Smart TV supports installing Android apps and 2) It supports the use of VPN, we haven’t tested it with this type of device. It might be worth giving it a try and if it doesn’t work you can then use the 30-day money back guarantee to get a refund.

  2. Bill Gray

    I’ve connected to Nordvpn to access Rte in the uk but still not able, could you advise how to rectify this please.

  3. Sean devine

    Can irishExpressvpn be downloaded onto Amazon fire stick

    • Christopher Seward

      Hi Sean,

      You can download ExpressVPN onto an Amazon Fire Stick and use in Ireland or elsewhere. There isn’t, however, an Amazon app for RTE Player so you would need to access via the Fire Stick web browser or try and side-load the Android app which may or may not work.

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