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ITV escapes punishment for World Cup blunder

Tue 24th Aug 2010 | Television & Broadcasting

ITV has escaped censure from Ofcom over the World Cup gaffe that saw viewers being shown a car advert instead of Steven Gerrard’s goal against the USA.

ITV has explained that a wrong button was pressed and an advert for Hyundai cars, one of the station's two multimillion sponsors for its coverage of the tournament, was shown instead.

Despite 823 complaints about the interruption to ITV1’s HD coverage of England's World Cup opener, Ofcom accepted that the incident was an ‘unfortunate error’.

About 1.5m viewers were affected by the mistake and ITV said that it was human error at the broadcaster's transmission provider Technicolor that saw the 21-second being shown over Gerrard’s goal.

However, Ofcom ruled that ITV had taken the necessary steps to try and prevent the mistake happening again by carrying out an operational review.

A report from Ofcom read: ‘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.’

‘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,’ explained the report.


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