Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Why ITV Sucks

14th June, 2010

ITV haven’t had a very good few days.

Error after catastrophic error have caused them a substantial PR disaster, with Twitter users lamenting (at least when Twitter was up) about the poor service being provided.

Here’s why I think ITV should left to wither and important broadcasts given to the BBC.

England game advert breaks

I acknowledge that ITV is a commercial company and needs to make money. But none the less, the advertising leading up to the England - USA game was outrageous even for them.

So much so, that they managed to fit an advertising break between the National Anthems and the kickoff. Quite how they managed that I’m not sure, but they only had seconds to spare - about 2 between the end of the ad break and the first kick of the ball.

I realise this was probably worth a few million quid to them, but none the less - the user experience was a shocker.

HD channel ultimate screwup

This one’s pretty much unforgivable.

England scored after 3.5 minutes, of course, and during that time the ITV HD channel managed to show an advert. Just a single advert, then a black screen, but before it started it was 0-0 and they came back to Steven Gerrard celebrating his goal. Pretty shocking.

Online feed sucks

This is the subject of my rants from Saturday on Twitter.

ITV and the BBC share the TV broadcasts of the World Cup - basically alternating games with exceptions for England ones. So I wanted to check out one of the other games on the ITV website, and it didn’t end well at all.

First of all, I got served 3 video ads before the live stream started. Then, the live stream failed to start, so I reloaded the page - and got a load more adverts. This time the video feed did at least start - but the quality was so poor, I couldn’t see the ball 95% of the time, and at one point the goalkeeper for one team disappeared entirely. So I gave up and switched over to TV Catchup to watch the ITV1 feed streamed in significantly better quality.

Points all feedback to Twitter - then don’t engage

I undertook my rant against the @itvinsider Twitter account, which their @ITV (completely unused) Twitter account points everyone to. Which isn’t that much use, because despite my somewhat public tirade of their atrocious service, I’m yet to hear anything back.

I guess I’ll continue extolling the virtues of the BBC until they can sort themselves out.