It’s not quite on the level of the NFL’s “Heidi Game,” but viewers of Austin, TX, NBC affiliate KXAN missed the winning overtime goal deciding game four of the Stanley Cup Finals because the station cut to commercial seconds before it happened.
The game was tied up at five and in overtime. With the Chicago Blackhawks on the attack against the Boston Bruins and with the puck almost on the stick of the man who scored the decider, the station cut away to a morning news promo and a car commercial. When the station cut back, the Blackhawks were coming off the bench to celebrate.
KXAN apologized to fans following the game. Ironically, the “sorry” came right after a package about hockey in Texas. “We unexpectedly and accidentally went to commercial break during overtime in tonight’s game,” said anchor Leslie Rhode. “It was, admittedly, the worst possible time to do that. We are so sorry. We apologize for that error.”
For non-hockey fans, the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks are competing for the Stanley Cup or simply, the Super Bowl of hockey, in a best-of-seven series. Last night’s game evened the series at 2-2.
The station’s facebook page lit up with angry hockey fans venting their feelings and comparing the incident to the infamous 1968 “Heidi Game” where NBC broke away from an exciting last minute run by the Oakland Raiders to beat the New York Jets to show the movie “Heidi.”
One irate fan wrote, “You guys are idiots!!!! You cut to a COMMERCIAL (three of them) while the puck was still in play right in front of the goal during overtime of the STANLEY CUP, only to come back AFTER the GAME WINNER!!!!!!”
KXAN president and general manager Eric Lassberg told TVSpy a technical error in master control caused the spots to run.
Here’s the apology: