(Reuters) – British broadcaster ITV apologized to viewers after thousands of England fans missed Steven Gerrard’s opening World Cup goal on Saturday when a commercial was accidentally aired at the crucial moment.
Fans watching ITV’s high definition channel at home and in pubs across the country were left in the dark as a car advert was screened at the moment Gerrard put England ahead against main group rivals, the United States.
The error did not affect ITV’s standard service.
An ITV spokesman apologized for the “interruption” which left fans frustrated and angry.
“A transmission problem temporarily affected ITV1′s HD service during the England/U.S. match. ITV standard definition service continued uninterrupted.
“We apologize for the interruption in transmission,” the spokesman said.
One pub owner described scenes of pandemonium as fans realized what had happened.
“We couldn’t believe it — this advert popped up and then it goes back to the game and England are 1-0 up,” Andy Quinn-Williams, landlord of the Three Tunnes in Stockport, was quoted as saying in the Sunday Telegraph.
“There was pandemonium in the pub — it is outrageous. We all started calling friends and those watching it without HD were seeing the game without the advert.”
(Editing by Jon Bramley)