Wednesday 21 March 2018

Garthgate plot thickens as RTE accused of scuppering rival show

Country music star Garth Brooks speaks at a news conference
Country music star Garth Brooks speaks at a news conference
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Just when you thought the Garth Brooks fiasco was over, two rival TV stations have gone to war with competing documentaries about the controversy.

TV3 and RTE both made shows on the incidents surrounding the cancellation of the five Croke Park concerts - and have run them on the same time slot.

But the Herald reveals how there was some last-minute scrambling by both stations to ensure their documentary wasn't overshadowed. 

TV3 has accused RTE of trying to "scupper" its Brooks documentary, which is says was scheduled a fortnight ago to air tonight.

RTE didn't even include its own programme on the fiasco, Garth Brooks: Tomorrow Never Came, in its official listings for last night, TV claimed.

It says RTE chiefs hastily rearranged their schedule so that a 30-minute documentary would run at 9.35pm on RTE One.  This was instead of a Ronan O'Gara documentary.

Their TV3 rivals say they were then forced to move their show a day forward to also air last night in a bid to keep up with the competition.

"We've been advertising it for the last two weeks and then on Monday we heard that RTE were putting theirs out the same night. But the decision was made at such late notice, they didn't even have time to put it in their listings," said a TV3 spokesperson.

She described TV3's decision to move its show, Garth Brooks: What Went Wrong to air last night as a "counter-strike".

RTE has denied that the airing of the documentary was a last-minute addition aimed at rivalling TV3's special. 

"Our documentary has been in production for a few weeks and we wanted to show it to our audience as soon as possible," a spokesperson said.


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