Channel 4 goes off air again as technical difficulties continue

entertainment
Channel 4 Goes Off Air Again As Technical Difficulties Continue Channel 4 Goes Off Air Again As Technical Difficulties Continue
Channel 4 sign, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Channel 4 has suffered more broadcast issues with the channel going off air again.

The disruption follows another major outage last month.

Viewers tuning into Steph’s Packed Lunch on Wednesday were greeted with a frozen frame of comedian Dane Baptiste on the chat show.

The issue continued for several minutes shortly after 2pm before normal service resumed with an episode of the game show Countdown.

Steph McGovern hosts Steph’s Packed Lunch (Matt Crossick/PA)

A statement from Channel 4 posted on Twitter said: “We’re sorry about our tech hiccup this afternoon and hope you can now view as normal. Further updates will be posted here.”

The channel’s output has been repeatedly disrupted following a technical issue that arose last month.

Red Bee Media, which handles playout services for Channel 4 and Channel 5, previously revealed that the “activation of the fire suppression system” at its broadcasting centre triggered audio and picture problems.

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Last week, subtitles began to return to Channel 4’s programmes on Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and All 4.

However, Ofcom said in a statement that it remains “deeply concerned about the scale of the technical failures experienced by Channel 4 and the length of time taken to fix them”.

“These problems have caused deep upset and frustration among people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted,” it said.

The broadcasting watchdog also criticised the broadcaster for not having “strong back-up measures”.

It said that once the issues were permanently resolved it would review Channel 4’s “equipment and facilities” and consider “what action might be required to make sure broadcasters do not find themselves in this situation again”.

Channel 4 was also criticised by the National Deaf Children’s Society, which wrote to Ofcom calling for regulatory action over its lack of subtitles, describing the situation as a “complete dereliction of duty”.

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