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Fox Loses Power During Epic World Series Broadcast

Fox suffered a brief outage Tuesday during its primetime broadcast of Game 1 of baseball’s World Series, resulting in a roughly seven-minute delay of the game.

Fox Sports blamed the mishap on a “rare electronics failure” in the production compound at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, where the Royals hosted the New York Mets. The delay of game was called because the outage meant that both teams and umpires had no way of accessing the instant replay feed, Fox said.

The curve ball from the power outage only heightened the stakes of the game that wound up running 14 innings and more than five hours before the Royals prevailed in a 5-4 win.

Beyond the technological snafu, there was also great drama on the field as Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez took the mound hours after his father had died in the Dominican Republic.

But at the request of Volquez’s wife, the news was kept from the pitcher in order to allow him to concentrate on starting in the most high-profile game of his 14 years in the major leagues. The team in turn asked Fox’s World Series announcing team to not discuss the death of Daniel Volquez, 63, on air to prevent his son from hearing the news on the TV in the clubhouse. Only after Volquez left the mound following the sixth inning of the epic game was he informed of the news by his wife.

“It was very hard for me,” Royals manager Ned Yost told the New York Times of the decision. “There is no road map, but you do what the family asks you to do, and it was real special to them that Eddy goes out and pitches this game.”

Adding to the confusion on Tuesday night in Kansas City was the fact that subscribers to the Google Fiber TV service in the Kansas City area also lost their video feed for varying lengths of time just as the game began around 7:30 p.m. CST. Like Fox, Google also apologized for the outage which appeared to be unrelated to Fox’s problems.

“Before the start of the bottom of the fourth inning of tonight’s World Series Game 1, a rare electronics failure caused both the primary and backup generators inside the Fox Sports production compound to lose power,” Fox Sports said in a statement Tuesday, issued as the game headed into the eighth inning with the Mets leading 4-3.

“The issue was immediately addressed, although it resulted in the audience missing one at-bat during the time needed to switch to carriage of Major League Baseball’s international feed, powered by a different generator on site. The on-field delay was due to replay capability being lost in both team’s clubhouses. We apologize for the interruption in tonight’s coverage and are working to ensure that the remainder of the World Series is broadcast without incident,” the statement concluded.

The power outage caused viewers to miss Kendrys Morales striking out at the top of the fourth inning. When the broadcast resumed, MLB official Joe Torre was seen on the field speaking with umpires and managers of the Mets and Royals.

Fox Sports issued an apology for the technical difficulties on its Twitter account and the game eventually resumed using Major League Baseball’s international TV feed. For a time that meant that viewers heard a different announcing team than that of the Fox Sports’ team led by Joe Buck. The international feed was also lost briefly in the fifth inning, after which Fox Sports cut back to the studio team in Los Angeles who scrambled to explain the situation. Ultimately, Buck and his fellow announcers Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci took over the facilities at the MLB’s international broadcast booth, next door to Fox’s compound.

Earlier in the evening, the Google Fiber TV service in Kansas City went down just in time for hometown Royals fans to miss an inside-the-park home run by shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Google Fiber tweeted an apology to subscribers. According to local reports, Google Fiber has about 27,000 subscribers in the Kansas City area.

The outage brings back memories of a much worse situation during the Super Bowl two years ago, when technical difficulties took out the lights at the Superdome in New Orleans, resulting in a 34-minute delay of game.

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