As an MCR bod, I'm quite a fan of lucky escapes - I was once on shift when a football OB lost power in their scanner, just as they went to the ad break before kick-off. Small panic as they arranged for the UPS-backed camera 1 to be switched down their outgoing line, then back again to the truck output, which came back up after a minute or two. Presentation chucked in an extra 30 second trail to give them a chance to make sure they had sufficient facilities to go live, and the programme went back on air with the teams coming out of the tunnel. I think, other than the lack of title sting out of the break, nobody at home would have been any the wiser.
Yes, the viewing public have no idea the stuff that goes on in the minutes before some programmes went to air.
Heard about one sport OB on a minor channel where the satellite uplink hadn't appeared half hour before the on air time. So the MCR call the uplink truck and were told that the satellite space they thought they'd booked had been given to someone else as the production company still owed them money from previous OBs (not a great thing for the reputation of the indie)
The production co-ordinator on site was hurriedly trying to book more space without much success (it was a Sunday) and of course it would take a bit of time to move the dish round and line up, so even if it was going to make it to air at all they were pushing it for time. Meanwhile channel playout are hurriedly finding some fillers.
The broadcaster concerned had some satellite space and had enough left for one path but not straight away. So that was booked, dish moved, feed established and on air 15 minutes late luckily just in time for the start of the match.
There was another instance when a live programme was being fed to a foreign broadcaster who phone up 10 minutes beforehand to ask of they should be seeing anything. Yes they definitely should. It was only at that point that anyone realised they were expecting it in a different format. Quick scramble to find and set up a spare encoder and feed established with a couple of mins to go.
As for actual breakdowns, some are cause by the most unlikely of things. There's a well known story in the industry about a manager taking a programme off air when he brought round pizza to everyone and put the box down on a mouse whose cursor was hovering over 'recue'
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 29 April 2018 1:27pm