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BAMMA Bummer

Posted 17th September 2014

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This is the tale of one of the more ridiculous things that happened to me when I worked in Channel 5 TX.

Saturday, 14th December, 2013. I’m sitting at home, preparing for my first day back in work after a short illness. It’s live BAMMA coverage that evening – mixed martial arts, which usually involves the floor being entirely smeared with blood by the end of the night – and I decide to have a look at BAMMA’s Twitter feed to see what’s going on.1

So, I scroll down their feed… and something catches my eye. Something horrible. I reproduce it below – but I’ve had to blur out the relevant bits, I’m afraid. I’m sure you’ll understand when I tell you what they are.

BAMMA Running Order

BAMMA posted a photo of their running order for the night.2 A fun idea. Except… it included the name of the duty scheduler, their mobile number, and the direct telephone number of 5* TX. Quite apart from the privacy concerns to do with posting the scheduler’s details, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the menace somebody could cause with all this information.

As soon as I saw this, I immediately fired off an email to the relevant person3, and after a bit of faffing around, the tweet and accompanying Instagram photo magically disappeared. I’m not usually proud to get material removed from the net, and I personally would rather BAMMA’s Twitter feed had acknowledged the deletion of the photo rather than silently removed it, but I still consider it a result. A result that may well have meant a lot less ballache for TX and the on-call scheduler that night.

So if you’re running around posting photos to social media about your TV show or event… have a care. Especially if the confidential information is bang in the centre of your photo. Then you just look silly.

  1. All TX ops should do a little research on the show they’re going to be working on. Not all do. To be fair, I did once find myself in the middle of a live sporting event and suddenly realised I didn’t know the scoring system. Never. Again. 

  2. Yes, I’m also annoyed by the fact that the off-air time is 22:58:41, and not rounded down to 22:58:40. If I had my way, all schedules would be run entirely according to the anal side of my brain. 

  3. Incidentally, the person I initially emailed couldn’t see it originally… because site-blocking policies prevented them from seeing the picture. All I can say is that anyone who thinks blocking any website from a PC in a TX suite hasn’t been thinking properly. You never know what you might need to look up in an emergency in this job. 

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1 Comment

JamesW on 17 September 2014 @ 2pm

That’s frightening, OJ Borg still gets work ;) Seriously though, letting that information out there could seriously disrupt a live broadcast (think about the Heidi game in the NFL, where because the TX phone was out of action, the wrong broadcast decision was made and the vital closing stages of the game were missed for the aforesaid film).

Out of interest though, which sport is it that flummoxed you with scoring – I only really think of Channel 5 as football, baseball and the odd bit of cricket nowadays.