London: The BBC has apologised for inadvertently screening the first advertising break in its history.The 30-second commercial was shown on BBC Two, during last month’s coverage of Wimbledon. The advertisement urged viewers to ”log on now and get your tickets today” for ATP World Tour tennis match finals that will be held in November.
ITV is understood to have complained to the BBC about the transmission, demanding to know whether the advertisement was part of a financial arrangement between the BBC and the tennis organising body, a suggestion that the broadcaster vehemently denies, ‘The Daily Telegraph’ said.
A BBC spokeswoman said: “It was broadcast once. It was a mistake and it should not have been broadcast. Steps were immediately taken to ensure it was not broadcast again. This was not part of any deal with Wimbledon, the ATP or the Lawn Tennis Association.”
The advertisement was screened at 7.23 PM on BBC Two on June 22, minutes after Andy Murray completed a routine three sets victory over the German, Tobias Kamke, propelling the Scot into the third round of Wimbledon.
Figures from Barb, the television ratings body, show that 2.7 million viewers were watching at the time, and advertising executives said that a similar slot on ITV would have cost in the region of 30,000 pounds, the newspaper said.