Olympic fans angry at Prime TV's coverage

By Kasia Jillings

Fireworks during the opening ceremony. Photo / AP
Fireworks during the opening ceremony. Photo / AP

Olympic fans watching the opening ceremony were outraged when ad breaks caused Prime TV's "live" coverage to finish 45 minutes after Sky Sport, which aired uninterrupted.

Viewers took to Twitter to vent their frustration.

"Having frequent ads during the first third of the main ceremony is completely and utterly shameful," tweeted one user.

The Herald on Sunday received an email from viewer Remco Remmelink saying the interrupted coverage had "ruined the magic".

Sky Sport showed the New Zealand team walking in to the stadium at 10.20am.

More than 30 minutes later Prime showed the New Zealand team - though it first cut to another ad break after Nepal entered the stadium.

Last night Sky TV chief executive John Fellet reassured viewers they would not miss important events on Prime, which will air ad breaks during its coverage:"I can't imagine a situation where [viewers] will lose gold medal coverage."

Fellet did not have details on how many or when ad breaks would be, but said it would be similar to TVNZ's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He said the details were recorded in an Olympic coverage contract that was "in a filing cabinet somewhere" and he had no specifics last night.

Fellet said there shouldn't be any delay in most of Prime's coverage, which will air 23 hours a day. Any delays in yesterday's opening ceremony were because the event was so long.

By the end of the ceremony, he agreed, Prime could no longer claim to be live, but he said that was to be expected with free-to-air television.

Fellet defended the "live" advertising, saying he did not believe it breached advertising standards.

Advertising Standards Authority chief executive Hilary Souter said if there was an issue it would be related to the ethics code for truthful presentation.

Parents upset at fleeting TV appearance

Watching at home in New Zealand, the parents of some Olympians are disappointed with the New Zealand team's fleeting television appearance.

Flag bearer Nick Willis's step mum Penelope Trought said she was thrilled to see her son carrying the flag but was disappointed the New Zealand team appeared for only a few seconds.

"That was the one really nice thing about Nick carrying the flag - at least we got to see him." She felt bad for the other parents who did not get to see their offspring. She herself missed seeing Nick's brother Steve, who was walking with the team.

Trought and her teenage daughters watched the ceremony at home on a 50-inch television, loaned to them by an appliance store.

- Herald on Sunday

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