2/02/2009

Super Porn Bowl

KVOAImage via Wikipedia

We got quite a little chuckle yesterday as we were watching the Superbowl on Comcast Digital Cable through KVOA, the NBC affiliate here in Tucson, AZ.

With about 8 minutes left in the game the screen suddenly froze and the picture flipped to credits for what appeared to be a "Bollywood" movie. It only lasted 10 or 15 seconds and the game came back. I thought that was weird but I was in for a much bigger surprise!

With less than 5 minutes left in the game the screen again froze. I called Michael who was in the kitchen to tell him about the weird picture, thinking it would be more of a "Bollywood" type move. Much to my surprise it was a porn film. As we watched a woman unzipped a mans pants and pulled out his penis and fondled it. Then he slid his pants off and stood up to shake his penis at her. At that point the picture flipped back to the game.

Of course, we were both rolling in the floor wondering what the heck was going on. I quickly got on Twitter to see if it was national or local. It soon became apparent it was just Tucson and just Comcast. Shortly the moms were raging and threatening everything from angry phone calls to lawsuits.

According to Comcast and KVOA the indicent is "under investigation":
"When the NBC feed of the Super Bowl was transmitted from KVOA to local cable providers and through over-the-air antennas, there was no pornographic material," KVOA president and general manager Gary Nielsen said in a statement.

The KVOA statement said the station was dismayed and disappointed that some Comcast customers and their families were subjected to the material.

"KVOA will continue to investigate what happened to our clean signal and make sure our viewers get answers," Nielsen said in the statement.

Comcast CorporationImage via Wikipedia

Comcast spokeswoman Tracy Baumgartner confirmed that the company's standard feed was interrupted during the Super Bowl, although she said its high definition feed was not.

Baumgartner said engineers were investigating Sunday night.

Tucson media outlets reported that they received calls from irate viewers about the pornographic material.

A spokesman for Cox Cable said the company had not been affected.

"We have received no evidence that any inappropriate material was broadcast on any of our channels during the Super Bowl," Mike Dunne said. "The alleged incident appears to be isolated to the Comcast territory. We will offer our support to all appropriate organizations to help them determine what happened."

Joel Hilander of Tucson told The Associated Press that he and his young children saw the clip.

"I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe that my children were watching it either," Hilander said.

He said the interruption came just after the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald scored on a long touchdown reception during the final minutes of the game.
It appears that the High-Def signal wasn't touched although it has been extensively reported by non-techie bloggers that the "digital" signal wasn't affected and it was only the "analog" signal that was interrupted. That is not the case at all. The High Definition signal was the one not affected. In fact it was the digital signal that seems to have been the target. So, it's not a function of people not "upgrading to digital TV" as one blogger reported.

Anyway, it made a nice diversion and gave us a great laugh. I'm sure someone is going to be out of work by this afternoon, though, because a sacrifice will have to be made regardless of the source of the problem to appease the outraged families.
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