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@ComedyCentralUK: Getting social media wrong

Sunday morning, 28th December 2014, and something unpleasant is going down on Comedy Central UK.

I could go on. (I mean, I really could. It’s taken all of my willpower not to just embed every single tweet about it. There were bloody loads.)

Now, I’m not going to hazard a guess about what exactly caused this – whether it’s an error by playout, the schedulers, or a mix of the two. It’s irrelevant anyway. This is just the inevitable end result of a multichannel playout environment: in other words, having one person in charge of playing out and supervising more than more channel. Comedy Central UK will most definitely not be the only channel the TX op behind the controls will have been prepping, checking, and monitoring. You want cheap playout, then these kinds of things will happen. You don’t want errors like this on air? Then pay for one TX operator per channel and suck up the cost.

Moreover, what you really want in a situation like this is a live continuity announcer, to apologise for the problems. Of course, Comedy Central UK aren’t going to pay for that, either. But here is where social media comes into its own. Of course, a few apologetic tweets isn’t a great substitute for decent single-channel playout and live continuity, but it would be at least something. A direct connection with your audience.

So why, in the name of holy hell, did the @ComedyCentralUK account entirely ignore the complaints? Oh, they’ll happily use Twitter to pimp their stuff. But when it comes to actually engaging with people, acknowledging a problem, and offering an apology, they’re clearly not interested. Not even when they’re prodded. Considering it would only have taken a few minutes to send some apologetic tweets out, the damage in customer relations hardly seems worth it, does it?

It’s difficult to see this as anything else but Comedy Central UK having complete and utter contempt for their audience. Worth remembering next time you’re flicking around the EPG to find something to watch.

■ Posted 2nd January 2015 @ 6pm in Television. 1 Comment.

1 Comment

Andy on 2 January 2015 @ 8pm

I don’t work in your industry but have always been interested in the technology and behind the scenes things that makes TV and Radio happen, that so may people take for granted. A friend recently went on a Morpheus course, and although the technology is wonderful as to what can be achieved with a essentially a PC and some “TV station in a box” software, I do find it strangely upsetting when the human is largely removed from the process, not only for the reasons above, but to me it somehow feels wrong that technology takes over so much.
Radio automation is the same, there is nothing like the feeling with playing from CD’s rather than a digital file, I still want people loading tapes and doing things for them selves! I would suspect that the level of ownership on problems would be higher, having someone there to apologise for one. As I said on twitter, keep on with the posts and articles here, they are rather good!


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