It was the Stanley Cup Final. It was overtime. It went to commercial during the winning goal.
None of us are perfect, but few human beings out there deserve what a TV station in Texas did to its viewers during the final moments of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins were dueling in overtime when an NBC affiliate in Austin left the game for a self-promotional television spot, followed by an ad for a local car dealership, which was spotted by Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing.
At the moment of the break, the Blackhawks attack was peppering shots at Boston's Tuukka Rask. By the time the feed was restored 26 seconds later, viewers were left with only images of the Blackhawks bear-hugging and replays of the winning goal by Brent Seabrook.
They had missed everything—everything that mattered.
The station later apologized for the mistake, claiming the cut-away only occurred due to automation settings they had set for their broadcast.
I was never a broadcast journalism guy, but I understand how these things could happen. The station had lined up its promotional breaks without taking into account the possibility of overtime. When the game ran long, the system eventually kicked over, and fans were left feeling like morons.
A darker theory is that somebody at the station wanted to troll the 15 hockey fans living in the Austin area and hit the jackpot.
So, to those of you in Austin who had to deal with this, you have my deepest, most sincere sympathy. I don’t want to think about what I would’ve done had this happened at the end of Game 6 of the NBA Finals.