Z on TV Critic David Zurawik writes about the business and culture of TV

What was the deal with that brief Super Bowl blackout? NBC owes us a fuller explanation

NBC Sports owes us a fuller explanation this morning about the brief blackout during Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Look, it was a great football game, so I am not complaining at all about the telecast. And I understand NBC staying focused last night on the game instead of what went wrong for 20 seconds or so.

But the vague explanation of “equipment failure” that it gave CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter last night isn’t enough to stand through today — particularly in this day and age.

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

An NBC spokesman said Monday morning the network has "nothing further to add" to its explanation.

Communications technology isn’t some vast mystery beyond the understanding of peasants like us. The “equipment failure” talk was OK in the 1950s when TV was new, but not today. Not even close.

What actually happened? Did someone mess up? Who and how? Did a piece of equipment fail? If so, what equipment and how?

We’d like to know, even if it is just curiosity about the couple of seconds during which some us wondered what the heck was going on.

We have 10 million conspiracy theories thrown at us every day on cable news. These are paranoid enough times.

So, please, no more mysteries, even if it is small one. Just give us a full explanation today, NBC, and we can go off with mostly good feeling about our Super Bowl viewing experience.

david.zurawik@baltsun.com

twitter.com/davidzurawik

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