Has SBS taken on too much with the Tour De France, and the Ashes Test
cricket starting this Thursday night? That’s a real question, judging
by its performance late last week during the live broadcasting of a
stage in the great bike race.

As the race headed for a thrilling finish in the early hours of Friday
morning, SBS went to an ad break. And, to make matters worse,
Australian rider Stuart O’Grady was the one whose efforts over the
final 2km of the race, were obliterated by the SBS ad break.
O’Grady and several other riders were contesting the green jersey
battle for the best sprinter on the race: but sadly Australian viewers
had to wait until the highlights later on Friday evening.

So a Crikey reader emailed a complaint to SBS, who replied with an
apology which pointed out that taking ad breaks in a live coverage of
an event with no commercial breaks, depended on “the skills of
operators.” “Unfortunately on this occasion it is clear those skills
failed. SBS apologies unreservedly and will make every effort to ensure
that such a mishap does not happen again.”

SBS will have to be on its best behaviour from Thursday night onwards
when it screens the first Ashes cricket Test, and the closing stages of
the Tour over Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Peter Fray

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