Officials at WLEX (Channel 18) said Monday they have not received complaints about the station's coverage of Saturday night's opening ceremony of the World Equestrian Games, which joined the event well after it had begun and cut away with an hour remaining.
"I know there were some people on Saturday night who were disappointed that we had to join the program in progress," said WLEX general manager Pat Dalbey, explaining that the station could not cut away from the national NBC telecast of the Notre Dame-Stanford football game.
That decision irked viewer Mari Adkins, who took her growing frustration during the broadcast to Twitter.
"I very much, and I'm sure everyone else who was at home, would have liked to have enjoyed the (ceremony) from the very beginning," she said Monday.
The NBC affiliates that aired the telecast throughout the state decided before the ceremony that they could accommodate only a two-hour show so as not to further disrupt NBC programming, Dalbey said. The ceremony went on for an hour after the telecast ended.
"When the broadcast ended at 9 p.m., so we could watch the reruns of Monday's shows, that was really the last straw," Adkins said.
The show was hosted by WLEX anchors Kevin Christopher and Nancy Cox. It was produced by the Games' organizers, not the station, Dalbey said.
In deciding how to prepare the television special, the emphasis was on emulating events like the Olympics, said Terry Johnson, vice president of sales and marketing for the Games' organizers.
That meant hitting the highlights of the ceremony and adding video packages that explain what's going on during the Games and the individual equestrian disciplines, and the anchors discussing behind-the-scenes information.
"It's a big event and it's a long event, and we wanted to take this opportunity to show people what they'll see if they come out," he said.
He said there was only one interview during the broadcast, with University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari.
"We thought that added a local flavor to it. Coach Cal is obviously very well known," he said.
But the format was a disappointment to viewer Jennifer Crossen, a retired horse riding instructor who was watching to see some of her former students who were performing.
"It gets me upset that people would want to see their friends, neighbors and relatives up onstage, but ... they didn't show any of that," she said.
Johnson said the organizers "haven't had very much negative feedback."
"In fact, our Web traffic increased significantly during the telecast," he said. "We were pleased with how that came back."