While the NFL rejoiced in the news that Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII was the most-watched TV show in U.S. history with an average of 111.5 million viewers, Time Warner Cable subscribers in Southern California continued to spitefully vent today after a blackout glitch dropped Fox’s standard definition signal for more than an hour and led to a disruption of thousands of viewing parties.
Some 2 million customers exist in TWC’s Southern California region that spans from the Coachella Valley to Ventura County, and practically all have high definition access through updated digital distribution. It’s likely only a small percentage trying to watch the game on KTTV (Channel 11)’s somewhat-outdated standard definition signal were actually affected, according to sources within the company and those experts who follow the cable TV business.
Still, the fact that anyone had to read a message “signal currently unavailable” frozen on their flatscreens during the second quarter and through the halftime show was enough to cause random chaos.
As some took to social media platforms to demand rebates and threaten cancellation of the service, TWC spokesman Dennis Johnson said this evening that the company would issue a free On Demand movie credit to all customers in the Los Angeles area and a $5 gift certificate to analog customers.
Johnson confirmed that the cause of the problem was a piece of equipment that processes video signals, and they were still looking into all aspects of why it happened.
XXII WINTER OLYMPICS: OPENING CEREMONIES at Sochi, Russia; Friday at 7:30 p.m. Channel 4 (delayed): Who you may recognize some of them already: snowboarder Shaun White (with shorter red hair, right), skiers Bode Miller and Ted Ligety, giant slalom racer Julia Mancuso, speed skater Shauni Davis, bobsledder Lolo Jones and members of the Kings – Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown – who are suiting up Team USA in men’s hockey. There’ll be some more that you’ll most likely know better by the time this is over: figure skaters Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner, Alpine skier Mikaela Shriffrin (left), luge racer Kate Hansen and ski jumper Lindsay Van — not to be confused with heralded but injured skier Lindsey Vonn. That’s a small sample of the 230 U.S. athletes competing this time in Sochi – not even including the seven sets of siblings who’ll be there with American passports.
The time difference may appear to be a little screwy, but it’s actually pretty easy to keep track: Whatever time it is in L.A., flip it. Meaning, 8 p.m. here is 8 a.m. there, the next morning. It also means that whatever you’re watching in prime time on Channel 4 is likely more than 12 hours old – so unless you’ve closed yourself off to the Internet, social media or any other news services, you’re going to be in that time warp experience for the next couple of weeks. In fact, the first full day of NBC prime-time coverage actually starts before the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday (8-to-11 p.m.) with coverage of White in the new sport of snowboard slopestyle as well as team figure skating. Right after the opening ceremonies, U.S. women’s hockey makes its first appearance vs. Finland at midnight late Friday on NBC SportsNet. That’s followed by NBC’s first two weekend nights of prime-time coverage Saturday (8-to-11:30 p.m.) and Sunday (7-to-11 p.m.) that has more figure skating, snowboarding, freestyle skiing and Alpine Skiing. In all, participants from more than 80 nations will be trying to collect the 98 gold medals awarded in Sochi, with much of it to be viewed live overnight on NBC SportsNet through Feb. 23.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, center, and Anthony Kiedis perform during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVIII (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Somewhere right near the end of the second quarter of Super Bowl XVLIII, the number of Time Warner Cable customers tweeting out complaints about their Fox reception disappearing exponentially grew at about the same rate as Denver was vanishing from Seattle’s view on the scoreboard.
Time Warner Cable’s department of damage control eventually sent out a tweet — right about the time that the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis and Flea started bouncing around shirtless on the midfield stage at halftime – to say “we’re investigating an issue” with KTTV’s standard definition feed, and “we’re working to resolve.”
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Please. Take your time. Percy Harvin just took the second-half kickoff all the back and the Seahawks were up . . . .
By then, even Fox’s graphics’ department had lost count and wanted to go sit in the empty stadium seats next to David Beckham, who by then was more focused on his iPhone.
And the less miserable TWC customers throughout areas of L.A. who finally got their coverage back after an hour-long outage, some of whom probably already went to their DVR reserve to watch that HBO showing of “Les Miserables” they had recorded weeks ago.
Blowouts are always the last thing a network wants in any live sporting event, but when you’ve got a shot at generating perhaps the greatest audience in Super Bowl history based on a matchup that many considered a pick ‘em going in, the sucker punch of Super Bowl XLVIII will likely be felt for a while all around Fox Sports’ divisions.
David Stern, left, takes center stage to hand the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award to Chris Paul — of the Clippers, not the Lakers — after the 2013 exhibition. (Associated Press)
The legacy of David Stern is . . . ?
“He left the league in a better place than he found it three decades ago,” the retiring NBA commissioner said of himself in the third-person during an interview clip that aired Friday on ESPN, a longtime business partner of his and the league’s.
If bigger means “better”—expanding from 23 to 30 teams, watching the average salary balloon from $290,000 to $5.7 million, even a 50 percent increase on referees asked to be on the court at one time (going from two to three, and including women employees) – then a kindergartener forced to sit in a televised round-table discussion for commercial purposes might even agree with that concept.
But was an Orwellian move in the summer of 1984 to double the number of teams in L.A. from one to two a long-lasting mark on his good or not-so-good side?