Those tuning to TBS for Game 6 action Saturday night of the American League Championship Series were instead greeted by sitcom The Steve Harvey Show.
Technical difficulties didn’t make things very amusing for executives at the “very funny” network or the fans expecting to see the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. With first pitch slated for 8:07 p.m., TBS didn’t restore the picture until about 18 minutes later.: By that time, viewers had missed a B.J. Upton home run in the bottom of the first that gave the Rays a short-lived 1-0 lead.
The network issued the following statement explaining the problem: “Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped causing the master router and its backup – which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound – to shut down. This impacted our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the delay in our coverage. Both our primary and backup routers were impacted by this problem. We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap that caused a delay in our coverage."
TBS ran a crawl on The Steve Harvey Show noting the technical difficulties.
Ultimately, it was the Rays that had the most difficult evening, falling to the Sox 4-2, as Boston now looks to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the ALCS for a second consecutive year.
First pitch for tonight’s Game 7 is also scheduled for 8:07 p.m. and figures to result in what should be TBS’s strongest Nielsen performance with MLB’s postseason.
Through the first five games of the ALCS, TBS averaged a 3.9 household rating, 4.48 million households and more than 6.09 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Those numbers represent gains of 40%, 40% and 42%, respectively, over TBS's four-game coverage with the 2007 National League Championship Series in which the Colorado Rockies swept the Arizona Diamondbacks.