SEVERE WX: Winter Weather Advisory - Blizzard Warning View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

NBC blames 'equipment failure' for brief blackout during Super Bowl

What was that?! A power outage? A computer glitch? A clever ad?NBC's broadcast of the Super Bowl -- the year's...

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 11:08 AM
Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 11:08 AM

What was that?! A power outage? A computer glitch? A clever ad?

NBC's broadcast of the Super Bowl -- the year's biggest television event -- suffered a brief hiccup early in the second quarter when the screen went to black.

The announcers tossed to a commercial break, so viewers didn't know what had happened.

Some people turned the TV set off and on, thinking the set had malfunctioned. Others changed the channel to troubleshoot. And others checked social media to see if it had happened to everyone.

Yes, it did. The blackout was seen in homes across the country -- in front of an estimated 100 million people.

At first, NBC spokespeople said they were scrambling to find out what happened.

About a half an hour after the blackout, an NBC Sports spokesperson had an answer.

"We had a brief equipment failure that we quickly resolved. No game action or commercial time were missed," the spokesperson said.

The statement was designed to squelch speculation that NBC had lost millions of dollars by misfiring an ad.

Each 30-second spot during the four quarters of the game cost about $5 million, according to NBC executives.

By saying no "commercial time" was missed, NBC might be indicating that network promos were supposed to air during the blackout time.

But the network didn't immediately respond to follow-up questions on Sunday night.

"This is the best ad yet," the Washington Post's Philip Bump tweeted.

Josh Greenman of the New York Daily News asked, "Was there really a commercial for anticommercialism?"

Red State contributor Mickey White joked: "#DeadAir coming this Spring on NBC."

In any case, the twitterers who said they suspected a North Korean missile attack or a crippling hacker strike can rest easy.

An "equipment failure" can happen anytime. But it rarely happens in front of the entire country!

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 26°
Albert Lea
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 23°
Austin
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 27°
Charles City
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 26°
Rochester
Overcast
29° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 21°
Tracking ice accumulations to start your weekend and heavy snow and wind to end it.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

West Hancock girls take flight for state

Image

Prep basketball highlights from Southern Minnesota

Image

North Iowa basketball highlights

Image

What's worse? Skeetas or Snow?

Image

Highlights: North Iowa Bulls at Rochester Grizzlies

Image

Section 1AA swimming finals

Image

Finally enough snow to snowmobile

Image

Minnesota individual section wrestling quarterfinals

Image

Finding new housing options

Image

Windows shot out in Austin

Community Events