Ben Frow: commissioned 'Play TV' for TV3

AN INQUIRY was launched last week into TV3's failure to read out the exact terms of an agreed apology about the operations of controversial quiz show Play TV, commissioned by TV3's director of programming, Ben Frow.

One angry viewer complained to the Broadcasting Authority after watching the show, when he noticed that TV3 had omitted important parts of the announcement.

During the broadcast, the voiceover did not include the words "dishonest" or "unfair". The reading of the apology also omitted a section which said that "quizzes were conducted unfairly".

The viewer, who has had two previous complaints about the programme upheld, said he was unhappy that TV3 was still not fulfilling its responsibilities.

A copy of his complaint said: "I notice that TV3 transmitted an announcement on 28 January in relation to the recent adjudications on Play TV. I am dissatisfied that the announcement was not read out in full. I feel that this is totally unacceptable and I feel I must complain that TV3 did not comply fully with the directions of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

"I feel that this was deliberate on TV3's behalf as it seeks to omit vital details of the adjudications of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland."

The Broadcasting Authority said in a statement to the Sunday Tribune that there had been a "slight" difference between what was broadcast and the agreed statement.

It said: "The compliance committee is aware that a slight difference existed between the rolling text on screen and the accompanying voiceover of the decision on the first airing.

"The full decision was visible to the viewer in the rolling text. Therefore, the full decision was communicated to the viewers. Furthermore, the voiceover on the subsequent two broadcasts will include the full decision.

The complaint has now been officially rejected by the Broadcasting Authority but TV3 will be obliged to ensure the text of the apology is read out accurately in further broadcasts.

A spokeswoman for TV3 said: "The BAI has confirmed to us and the people that rang them that they are completely satisfied that the requirements have been met.

"The statement has to air twice more and it will be amended to say exactly what it is supposed to say. Once the BAI is satisfied, then we are."

In a letter sent by Anne O'Brien, head of compliance with the BAI, to the complainant, she said: "The airing of the statement of the committee is a matter that is agreed between the committee and the broadcaster concerned.

"In this instance, I can assure you that the compliance committee has adhered to its statutory duties and obligations throughout this process. Further, I can assure you that the broadcaster has also complied with the process in such a manner."