Blogs > The Back Page

The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Goof at ESPN-ABC Mission Control ruins ending to Michigan-Air Force game

Technical difficulties derailed ABC-ESPN's coverage Saturday
With nearly three minutes left in Saturday's Michigan-Air Force game and the Falcons, trailing 31-25, driving with a chance to upset the No. 19 Wolverines, ESPN's broadcast on ABC inadvertently cut away from a play review to its studio anchors.
At first, it seemed the glitch would be minor, but quickly after leaving the game, the image above was flashed, effectively raising the "Technical Difficulties" flag. What ensued was a brief snippet of what sounded like mono-channel play by play coverage before viewers were mercifully transferred to the studio crew.
And with no quick fix, the anchors tossed to the USC-Syracuse game, which had been delayed by weather.
Finally, when ABC returned to the Michigan game, it had all but been decided.
Fans took notice on Twitter in what seemed like an eternity in crucial late-game situation, but was likely only two or three minutes.  
Just a week earlier, ABC-ESPN was guilty of a brief fake-out, airing live coverage from another game rather than switching to the Michigan-Alabama pregame show at the top of the 8 o'clock hour. The flub was quickly repaired, and from that point, Michigan was the only source of technical difficulties. 
These moments are quick reminders how smooth multi-feed broadcasts typically are with networks regularly switching among regional coverage on a whim. But we've come to expect perfection in an era when the four-letter network airs a dozen college football games among its umbrella networks at any given time. Anomalies like these make traditionally vanilla broadcast into something worth talking about.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home