Thursday, February 5, 2009

ITV Blame The Computers.

Don't blame the director, don't blame the producer, don't blame it on the adverts, blame it on computers.

That was the official word from ITV supremo Michael Grade this morning as he had some 'splainin' to do. Apparently the whole of England missed Everton's dramatic extra time winner last night because the automated system that triggers the commercials fired off on time, on schedule, and did not account for the delay in programming due to the extra time at Goodison Park.

Now Bigus works in TV Land and thinks that's absolute bollocks. While computers and automated systems often play large part in controlling a stations programming and hard hits (timed exits to and from commercials to facilitate local and national changes in programming to a specific time). The likelihood of the commercial countdown/play out device being unmanned during prime-time is highly unlikely. Also 'Master Control' would have noticed and switched back (after 10 secs, they did). A 'Master Control' is ultimately in charge of what hits the TVs at home. Master Control with no tech at the switcher? Never. While I don't know the ins and outs of ITV's operation I reckon this is down to good old fashioned human error/miscommunication. But not one to chuck his peeps under the bus, Grade has decided to blame his computers. Whether or not the truth got to Grade is another matter. Who wants to admit to that f**k up?

An official statement described the incident as an "unprecedented transmission error". Unprecedented? Every director in the world will tell you their "oh f**k" moment as they miss a hit, cut to an empty chair, take the wrong feed or accidentally take a break. However, missing a live goal in an FA Cup reply in extra time is one that I certainly can't remember happening. So in that respect, I guess unprecedented works.

Click here to see the ITV screw up through the eyes of Joe Public watching the game.

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