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Closedown gave kudos
Markymark6,647 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
The 1984 Thames Television strike was interesting to watch. Unlike 1979, Thames continued with a management run schedule. It wasn't great, but at least they were on the air for the majority of the day. My question is, why couldn't a similar arrangement have been put into place in August 1979?

When the largest ITV strike occured in August 1979, all ITV regions except Channel Television went on strike, and no programming aired at all until October. Why didn't they put out a management run service, which they did in 1968?


One reason was early 80s equipment required far less ‘operational skill’ than late 70s. In 1979 VT playout was still from Quadraplex 2inch machines, they required ‘driving’. By 1984 C Format 1inch VTRs were in common use, almost anyone technically inclined could lace them up, and hit play. They required no ‘nursing’ while in play. That alone reduced the stranglehold that 70s ( and earlier) kit had had applied


Not quite true, they still required 10 minutes of line-up for every tape, so you couldn't just lace the tape up and hit play.



Well yes, in the same way that you should check your tyre pressures and oil level before every journey. I spent the mid 80s fixing and lining up C Format machines. Lace up a tape and push play, the results may not meet IBA COP, but when the chips are down.......

You’re right about Quad still being used for playout into the mid 80s, I recall a few progs falling off the air with visible Quad Style faults
Steve Williams2,679 posts since 1 Aug 2008
During the 1984 Thames dispute, what happened to Midweek Sports Special? That was networked by Thames, so was it produced by another ITV region, or was it simply not broadcast?


It wasn't broadcast, hence why there were no highlights of an England match. As mentioned in that Mail story, there was no World of Sport that week in 1978 because of a strike at LWT.
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DE88 gave kudos
commseng177 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London



A very small point here - and not at all relevant to this thread - if you go to the Radio listings on that Daily Mail article, the BBC national stations are listed on their new wavelengths and freqencies, but the local stations and Radio Luxembourg have the old pre 9kHz spacings still.
I really must get out more.....
4
Markymark, DE88 and 2 others
  • Closedown
  • Richard
gave kudos
bluecortina802 posts since 26 Jul 2012

One reason was early 80s equipment required far less ‘operational skill’ than late 70s. In 1979 VT playout was still from Quadraplex 2inch machines, they required ‘driving’. By 1984 C Format 1inch VTRs were in common use, almost anyone technically inclined could lace them up, and hit play. They required no ‘nursing’ while in play. That alone reduced the stranglehold that 70s ( and earlier) kit had had applied


Not quite true, they still required 10 minutes of line-up for every tape, so you couldn't just lace the tape up and hit play.



Well yes, in the same way that you should check your tyre pressures and oil level before every journey. I spent the mid 80s fixing and lining up C Format machines. Lace up a tape and push play, the results may not meet IBA COP, but when the chips are down.......

You’re right about Quad still being used for playout into the mid 80s, I recall a few progs falling off the air with visible Quad Style faults


I agree with both your comments for what it’s worth.
bluecortina802 posts since 26 Jul 2012
The 1984 Thames Television strike was interesting to watch. Unlike 1979, Thames continued with a management run schedule. It wasn't great, but at least they were on the air for the majority of the day. My question is, why couldn't a similar arrangement have been put into place in August 1979?

When the largest ITV strike occured in August 1979, all ITV regions except Channel Television went on strike, and no programming aired at all until October. Why didn't they put out a management run service, which they did in 1968?



With regard to final question, i would put that down to not wanting to inflame an already incendiary situation - perhaps literally not wanting to pour petrol on a bonfire. Remember too that the ITCA thought the unions would cave in after a couple of weeks.
Closedown97 posts since 23 Nov 2014
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
IIRC - and happy to be corrected, because my knowledge of ITV facilities at the time's sketchy - the '68 strike service was run from ATV's former London tech base in Foley Street, which presumably had been operating right up to a couple of weeks before the start of the strike. Possibly made it easier to lash up an emergency service than it would have been in '79?
Inspector Sands13,524 posts since 25 Aug 2004
IIRC - and happy to be corrected, because my knowledge of ITV facilities at the time's sketchy - the '68 strike service was run from ATV's former London tech base in Foley Street, which presumably had been operating right up to a couple of weeks before the start of the strike. Possibly made it easier to lash up an emergency service than it would have been in '79?

https://tvforum.uk/forums/post1146589#post-1146589 Cool
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Closedown gave kudos
623058
40 year ago today:

robertclark1251,376 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
With the Thames strike forcing off an edition of Midweek Sports Special, that also resulted in no coverage on an England international, it makes me ask another question; could a TV company from the other country that were playing, have sent over their own crew and OB unit, to broadcast the match for themselves?

I know that during a strike in 19983 at the BBC, there was no coverage here of the Scotland v New Zealand rugby union international, which finished a 25-25 draw. But, on the SRU youtube channel, footage exists of the game, with New Zealand TV commentary, which then makes me also wonder, whose cameras and OB unit were being used at Murrayfield that day, if the BBC were on strike?
Markymark6,647 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
With the Thames strike forcing off an edition of Midweek Sports Special, that also resulted in no coverage on an England international, it makes me ask another question; could a TV company from the other country that were playing, have sent over their own crew and OB unit, to broadcast the match for themselves?

I know that during a strike in 19983 at the BBC, there was no coverage here of the Scotland v New Zealand rugby union international, which finished a 25-25 draw. But, on the SRU youtube channel, footage exists of the game, with New Zealand TV commentary, which then makes me also wonder, whose cameras and OB unit were being used at Murrayfield that day, if the BBC were on strike?


Interesting question ! Back in the 80’s was way before broadcaster facility deregulation. There were Soho based companies such as Molinare and Trillion that had limited OB kit, I seem to recall discussion in here of a Soho based facility company assisting Tyne Tees with an athletics event on their patch in the 80s ?