ITV World Cup Error Forgiven

Chiswick-based Technicolor was where the fault occurred

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ITV has revealed the full story of why high-definition viewers saw an advert instead of Gerrard's goal against the USA in the opening minutes of their World Cup campaign – an employee pressed the wrong button.

However, ITV has escaped any punishment from Ofcom, the television standards regulator, despite 823 complaints about the interruption to ITV1 HD coverage of England's World Cup match against the USA , with the media regulator accepting that the incident was an "unfortunate error".

ITV blamed human error at the broadcaster's transmission provider, Technicolor, and said a "take next trigger" had inadvertently been activated which led it to cut to 21 seconds of adverts and a blank screen. "ITV explained that the cause of the incident was a human error within the master control room operated by ITV's transmission provider, Technicolor," said media regulator Ofcom in its ruling today.

"It said that a 'take-next' trigger had been inadvertently activated which led to the next scheduled item, a Hyundai sponsorship bumper, being transmitted prematurely. Following the incident, ITV explained that while it could not identify what led to the human error, it had hired external consultants to critically review its operational procedures with Technicolor and would be introducing extra precautions to prevent further such incidents.."

ITV pointed out that the majority of its audience for the game, over 90%,viewing the main ITV1 channel were entirely unaffected. It said it "deeply regretted" the incident and had "apologised publicly" to its HD customers.

The regulator said it understood the frustrations of viewers who complained, but said it considered the matter to have since been resolved and no further action would be taken.

"Ofcom notes ITV's acknowledgement of this error and that during half-time coverage of the match, an apology was broadcast to viewers by presenter Adrian Chiles," it said. "Ofcom is also aware that following the match, both ITV and Technicolor apologised for the incident. Ofcom accepts that the incident was an unfortunate error and ITV made no commercial gain from it."

August 25, 2010

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