Thursday, March 18, 2010

CBS gaffe blacks out early minutes

It was 7:15 and UK tipped off, yet the Kentucky-East Tennessee State game from New Orleans was somehow missing from WLKY-32 in Louisville. Why? CBS offices in New York screwed up somehow.
In the first five minutes and 36 seconds of Kentucky's first-round game of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night, the Wildcats posted 12 points, East Tennessee State University put up 10, and a slew of fans made “quite a few” complaint calls to the Louisville CBS affiliate broadcasting the game.

That's because the beginning of the game was blacked out by the University of Northern Iowa-University of Nevada, Las Vegas game after CBS in New York City inadvertently switched the satellite channels the Louisville station received, said Glenn Haygood, president and general manager of WLKY.

CBS has the power to remotely control affiliates' coordinates, primarily for regional commercial programming, Haygood said.

He said WLKY had verified the station was tuned to the right coordinates before the game, but sometime between then and tipoff, CBS switched the coordinates, apparently inadvertently.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” Haygood said.

When the game tipped off just after 7:16 p.m., WLKY notified CBS of the problem and in about eight minutes, the coordinates were switched back while the University of Kentucky game was at a commercial break in the first time out, Haygood said.

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