The 2015 World Series stumbled out of the starting gate on Fox, when Tuesday night’s Game 1 went off the air because the network lost power to its broadcast truck.
USA Today reports that the game in Kansas City was delayed for more than five minutes because of the glitch, which happened in the middle of the fourth inning as the hometown Royals were coming up to bat against the New York Mets.
The Fox broadcast was reportedly down for 23 minutes, during which MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre consulted with umpires and made the decision to halt the game — in part because video replay was unavailable with the TV broadcast down.
Fox cut to its L.A. studios during the interruption, before the crew handling the Major League Baseball international feed took over the game telecast, with play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian sitting in for Fox’s Joe Buck.
A brief second outage also occurred before Fox got back up and running and Buck was able to resume his play-by-play.
Fox explained the problems in a statement released Tuesday night, saying: “Before the start of the bottom of the fourth inning of tonight’s World Series Game 1, a rare electronics failure caused both the primary and backup generators inside the FOX Sports production compound to lose power. The issue was immediately addressed, although it resulted in the audience missing one at-bat during the time needed to switch to carriage of Major League Baseball’s international feed, powered by a different generator on site. The on-field delay was due to replay capability being lost in both team’s clubhouses. We apologize for the interruption in tonight’s coverage and are working to ensure that the remainder of the World Series is broadcast without incident.”
A separate technical problem affected the local broadcast for fans in the Kansas City market watching the game via Google Fiber. Google apologized for the service outage in a statement Tuesday night.
Even with the tech issues, Fox Sports reported that the game had the highest overnight ratings for a World Series opener since 2009, with a 10.5 household rating and 18 share — up 31% from a year ago.