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DirecTV apologizes for going to commercial on Lions’ Hail Mary

Detroit Lions v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Lions sent Sunday’s game against the Titans into overtime with a 46-yard Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of regulation. And DirecTV sent some viewers to commercial at the worst possible time.

Just as Lions receiver Titus Young was catching the deflected pass and falling into the end zone, the game went to a commercial for some viewers who were watching the game on DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket feed.

“I don’t have all the details, but it was our error. We sincerely apologize to you and all the viewers who missed the TD,” DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer told me via email, after I inquired about the game cutting out on my own TV.

This isn’t the first time a game has mistakenly been taken to a commercial break while live game action was going on, but this is about the worst possible time it could have happened. Fans who pay for the Sunday Ticket package expect to be able to see every play, and this was a bad example of that not happening.

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26 Responses to “DirecTV apologizes for going to commercial on Lions’ Hail Mary”
  1. joetoronto says: Sep 24, 2012 7:23 AM

    Memories of the Heidi game, lol.

  2. dd393 says: Sep 24, 2012 7:25 AM

    At least they didn’t go to “Heidi.”

  3. freshnsoclean says: Sep 24, 2012 7:25 AM

    What do you expect? They need to scrounge up all the chump change they can get competing against cable.

  4. genaro1331 says: Sep 24, 2012 7:32 AM

    Well…. a commercial would be more entertaining than the dreck being televised in that game.

  5. eeerockski says: Sep 24, 2012 7:32 AM

    NFL redzone had to cut off at 5pm pst due to contractual obligations and we missed the end of the pittsburgh vs. Oakland game. They said NFL network would carry the end of the game but it never happened. Bottom line, when you’re paying for it but don’t get it, it sucks.

  6. gooboy6 says: Sep 24, 2012 7:32 AM

    KC-NO game- 4 hours of intense action-OT winner by Succop and CBS immediately switches to NY Jets-dolphins OT FG attempt before you see KC-NO players reactions , coaches shaking hands etc and right in the middle of replay of winning FG.
    Trust me nobody in KC wanted to miss our Chiefs celebrating our first win to see Rex Ryan and the Jets and Dolphins missing FG in OT.

    Complete the package CBS

  7. eric12401 says: Sep 24, 2012 7:36 AM

    Even though the game was out of reach, the Eagles-Cardinals game on FOX was turned off with about 4 minutes left in the game to air American Dad at 7pm. I have Dish Network.

  8. awm7353 says: Sep 24, 2012 7:37 AM

    Having worked in television master control, the most likely thing that happened was the playlist on the computer that runs that channel was programmed to go to a break at a certain time if there is no human intervention. That is the problem, someone in master control is suppose to be watching a live event and manually advancing the playlist to a break or keeping it from advancing automatically. One person screwed up.

  9. mayerobeyer says: Sep 24, 2012 7:39 AM

    Never miss a play my ass.

  10. crazycane says: Sep 24, 2012 7:49 AM

    As a Bears fan, I’m used to this. Miami was about to get hit with a Tropical Storm during the Browns/Bears game. When the Hail Mary happened, they accidentally went to news coverage thinking it was over. No soon as Mike Brown returned the INT for a TD, they went to news coverage.

  11. awm7353 says: Sep 24, 2012 8:03 AM

    “As a Bears fan, I’m used to this. Miami was about to get hit with a Tropical Storm during the Browns/Bears game. When the Hail Mary happened, they accidentally went to news coverage thinking it was over. No soon as Mike Brown returned the INT for a TD, they went to news coverage.”

    A similar event occurred in our master control last year. One of the MC guys, while in phone contact with the news station, mistakenly thought a music awards show was over and counted the news people into their 10 o’clock news. The last few minutes of the awards show was missed and there were a lot of irate viewers. It almost cost the MC guy his job. There is a lot of human intervention on live events and mistakes can be easily made. A very stressful low paying job with no appreciation when things go right, but all heck to catch when things go bad.

  12. thegonz13 says: Sep 24, 2012 8:10 AM

    Wonder if Deion and Peyton will mention this can happen the next time they dress up as fairies…

  13. z0inks says: Sep 24, 2012 8:17 AM

    In fairness to DirecTV, viewers did get to see most of the play, and we got to see the ball being caught…but they cut to commercial just as the receiver went to the ground.

    So viewers had a pretty good idea what had happened….but until they cut back to the game feed, we didn’t know for sure whether he had maintained control.

  14. papasbasement says: Sep 24, 2012 8:46 AM

    I want to thank everyone who mentioned Heidi in this thread. I’d never before heard of the Heidi Bowl and, after reading about it for the last 20 minutes, I now know yet another amazing fact about this amazing game we love.

  15. prospero63 says: Sep 24, 2012 9:09 AM

    Is DirecTV using replacement producers?

  16. colonelcamp says: Sep 24, 2012 9:15 AM

    Direct TV’s way of showing these games is ridiculous. On many occasions, I’ve seen really inefficient use of those boxes on 702.

    For example:

    If there are 4 games on in the evening, direct tv will show only three of those games and use the 4th box to show the red zone channel. Completely stupid. During week one there were three games on in the afternoon: 9ers/packers, seahawks/cardinals and panthers/bucs. What does Direct TV do? They show two of those games and leave up “REDSKINS WIN” in one box after they beat the Saints and the Red Zone channel in the other. Instead of showing ALL THREE games they do this.

    This is ridiculous and it happens all the time. I’m gonna cancel soon.

  17. granadafan says: Sep 24, 2012 9:16 AM

    It’s absolutely pathetic that networks and the NFL continue to screw over fans with their inane policies like blackouts, cutting off games due to “obligations”, useless commercials and the like. Boycott any company that is shown in a commercial from a cut off game. Maybe they’ll pull sponsorship from the idiotic bean counters at the networks.

  18. guthyrenks says: Sep 24, 2012 9:17 AM

    They should probly apologize for the Dolphins-Jets game freezing up every 10 seconds in overtime so I couldnt even watch

  19. ernie ernie says: Sep 24, 2012 9:45 AM

    Its not just them. I was watching a game and there was an injury, man down. As soon as the TV people saw that, they cut away to a commercial. When they came back the guy was in a drive cart heading off the field with a knee injury.

    I mean, the person went down and no one knew the extent of the injury and they broke away asap.
    Ditto the end of last nights game. As soon as the refs signaled the kick was good, they broke away. No discussion of it being good or bad.

    Collins was slow to point out the the kick is not reviewable but hey, if your a commentator don’t you have a say in your opinion? No going to commercials and saying goodbye was the main option they used.

  20. ernie ernie says: Sep 24, 2012 9:50 AM

    I want to thank everyone who mentioned Heidi in this thread. I’d never before heard of the Heidi Bowl and, after reading about it for the last 20 minutes, I now know yet another amazing fact about this amazing game we love.

    You had to be there. Talk about a WTF moment. I mean if Heidi had big ones if may have been different. By the way, they did not break back to the game like they can do today. That was it, Heidi was on and there was no going back.

  21. warsal says: Sep 24, 2012 11:21 AM

    That was the craziest game I have seen, and Detroits secondary sucks so bad it has me scared for the rest of the season. Good news is Leshore looks like a beast in the making.

  22. bluebongzilla says: Sep 24, 2012 11:56 AM

    Nobody in Detroit but UAW members can afford Sunday Ticket anyway.

  23. Vegas Guy says: Sep 24, 2012 1:56 PM

    How about CBS apologizing for moving away from this game that was going into OT due to “NFL Rules” but yet we could be switched to the end of the damn Dallas game?

    I get to see the game go INTO OT but not watch the OT? But I can watch the end of Dallas (which I’m sure not EVERYONE is a Dallas fan)

    That’s a load of crap no matter how you dice it.

  24. dgrowe213 says: Sep 24, 2012 2:39 PM

    Hell, Fox cut off the last 2 minutes of the Falcons/CHargers game and started playing American Dad.

  25. applecool1981 says: Sep 24, 2012 5:57 PM

    crazycane says: Sep 24, 2012 7:49 AM

    As a Bears fan, I’m used to this. Miami was about to get hit with a Tropical Storm during the Browns/Bears game. When the Hail Mary happened, they accidentally went to news coverage thinking it was over. No soon as Mike Brown returned the INT for a TD, they went to news coverage.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Since a tropical storm was about to hit, and is more important than any Football game, as people can be injured or killed as a result of it, I don’t see a problem if they had to get out that information to the public ASAP for their safety.

  26. voyager6 says: Sep 24, 2012 8:56 PM

    CBS kept switching game after game and not showing the Steelers/Raiders for almost an hour in SW Ohio. We had to watch the end of Jets Miami and then the KC game before someone woke up and switched over to the Steelers/Raiders game that was scheduled. It was CBS, but I heard on a board they saw it on DirecTV, too.

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