Turner’s Game Six Glitch Overshadowed by Seventh Game

Oct 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Turner Broadcasting got good news and bad news from baseball on Saturday.
Technical difficulties kept it from televising game six of the American League Championship Series until the first inning was nearly over. When TBS joined the game, the score was already 1-0 with the Boston Red Sox leading the Tampa Bay Rays.
The good news was that the Red Sox won, setting up what was expected to be a high-rated game seven Sunday night. In addition to high ratings, the seventh game gave TBS an opportunity to collect revenue from another game’s worth of advertising.
Tampa won game seven and takes on the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, which starts Wednesday and will be carried by Fox Broadcasting.
The game six problem occurred during TBS’ pre-game show, and forced the network to air an episode of “The Steve Harvey Show” while its technicians effected repairs.
“Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped, causing the master router and its backup—which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound—to shut down,” Turner said in a statement “This impacted our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the delay in our coverage. Both our primary and backup routers were impacted by this problem. We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap that caused a delay in our coverage.”
Turner was able to get in all of the commercials it sold, thanks in part to a 15-minute delay when an umpire got hurt.
As the Boston-Tampa series played out, TBS’ ratings escalated. Game six delivered a 5.4 U.S. household rating and 8.9 million total viewers. It was TBS’ most watched postseason game this year. Numbers are expected later today for Sunday’s game seven.
For the series through game six, TBS had a 4.1 rating, up more than 40% compared with last year, when TBS carried the National League Championship Series. That series lasted only four games, with the Colorado Rockies sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks.


  1. “and forced the network to air an episode of “The Steve Harvey Show” while its technicians effected repairs.”
    TBS was no more “forced” to air a sitcom than NBC was in 1968 in their infamous “Heidi” debacle. Anybody can have technical problems; how you respond to the problem is what counts, and TBS blew it. Their channel was still broadcasting, so what they needed to do was set up an emergency audio feed and have the announcers do a radio-style call. And all you need for that is a telephone. Surely someone at the ballpark had a phone! They didn’t even have an adequate crawl under their sitcom to explain to viewers what was happening.
    TBS’ coverage of the playoffs was atrocious in general. MLB should get wise and use this as a reason to void their contract and find a real broadcast partner for future seasons. I never thought I’d say this, but they actually made Fox look good!

  2. Well – that’s what you get when the stations go automated! No live person to see the problem coming nor any contigency plans! No more someone watching the audio levels – so you can’t hear the show but get blasted by the commercials! Also why there are “rude” cut ins on breaks!
    : (

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