Fox Goes Dark During World Series Broadcast

Umps World Series AP

Fox didn’t have game—Game One of the World Series—for several minutes Tuesday night.

Fans missed KC’s Kendrys Morales strike out in the fourth inning. Instead, they got a “We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties” notice and a return to the studio from the stadium.

When the broadcast resumed from Kauffman Stadium, the game underwent a short delay as managers discussed the lack of replay in the dugout to aid in challenging calls. The managers agreed to continue without replay (It was good enough for Joe Torre as a manager, and apparently now good enough for him as rules guru, too). Viewers continued without Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci for several minutes, as the MLB Network’s feed for the world replaced Fox’s broadcast for America.

When NBC went dark for a few minutes during the Greatest Game Ever Played in 1958, a man, allegedly a network employee, stormed the Yankee Stadium field in a faux-drunken stagger that delayed the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants from playing. The man’s real evasiveness alongside his feigning stupor allowed the Peacock Network to bring back the the fourth-quarter action to the fans at home without the loss of much action. Fox apparently employs no such person willing to take one for the broadcast team.

The network released a statement addressing the technical difficulties:

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.

Fans made light of Fox going dark.

Like 1958’s Colts-Giants game, the Royals and Mets couldn’t resolve the contest during regulation. Alan Ameche played the hero in overtime 57 years ago to beat New York. Last night, er, this morning, Eric Hosmer knocked in Alcides Escobar with a sacrifice fly to right to beat New York.

“I remember seeing Commissioner Bell standing in the back of our locker room after the game,” Colts receiver Raymond Berry recalled of the aftermath of winning the NFL championship in 1958. “He was crying. I think he knew what we didn’t—yet. That this was a watershed for the NFL.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred too may have cried after last night’s memorable MLB game, albeit for very different reasons. It’s 2015. Technical difficulties are for 1958.