RTE was unaware of 'Prime Time' glitch
Published 05/03/2014 | 02:30
RTE bosses were unaware of a 13-minute glitch on one of the station's most popular programmes, because the problem only occurred on older televisions.
During an interview on Monday night's episode of 'Prime Time' with Russian Ambassador to Ireland Maxim Peshkov, on the crisis in Ukraine, the phrase "Irish Ukrainians, not Russians" was played in a loop for up to 13 minutes.
However, it later emerged that only viewers with standard-definition TV sets were affected by the fault while high-definition viewers were not.
RTE was unaware of the problem for some time because the glitch did not appear in the TV gallery where the programme's director and producer sit.
When programmers became aware of the glitch, they rushed to manually override the system.
However, the station received a total of 79 complaints in relation to the technical glitch.
Yesterday, RTE said the fault had been "caused by an equipment failure in hardware installed in December as part of the RTE One HD project.
"The automated system had to be manually overridden and this delayed the glitch being rectified," an RTE spokesperson said.
"We'd like to apologise for last night's transmission error.
"The full interview with the Russian ambassador and the subsequent studio discussion is now available on the RTE player."
It is the latest technical glitch to hit a high-profile RTE show. Last Friday, the 2014 EuroSong results were wrongly calculated live on air during the transmission of 'The Late Late Show'.
RTE's managing director of news and current affairs, Kevin Bakhurst, issued an apology to viewers regarding the 'Prime Time' glitch, describing it as "infuriating".