Sunday 19 November 2017

RTE left red-faced after sports award glitches

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

RTE chiefs have been forced to issue an embarrassing apology after technical glitches marred its annual sports awards.

Just as Olympic gold-medal winning boxer Katie Taylor was named Sports Person of the Year, the live broadcast from RTE's own studios on Sunday night inexplicably went to a commercial break, as she was accepting the coveted award from Sports Minister Leo Varadkar.

Instead of seeing Katie accepting the award, viewers were shown an ad for L'Oreal.

Although the problem was later rectified when an uninterrupted version was uploaded to the RTE player, the damage had already been done – prompting a flurry of complaints on social media sites.

A viewer tweeted: "RTE what an embarrassment!!! The sports persons award interrupted with advertisements. Overall a cheap show for incredible people."


The broadcaster also included Cork Archdeacon Michael O'Brien in its list of sports personalities and supporters who had died over the previous year even though the cleric is still very much alive.

RTE's group head of sport, Ryle Nugent, tweeted: "RTE sports awards sincere apologies for the technical issue at the end of tonight's programme. We're investigating how it happened."

An spokeswoman last night said RTE issued a public apology to the media following the incidents and the matter will be thoroughly investigated.

But the errors weren't the only glitches affecting the braodcaster over the past week.

Viewers using digital boxes to record the season finale of American drama 'Homeland' missed the final minutes of the show because RTE engineers didn't alter its electronic programming guide, to take into account that the episode was 10 minutes longer than usual.

RTE issued an apology, saying: "It wasn't flagged that the finale would be longer in duration than usual."

Irish Independent

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