Fans Rip TV Network Over Disastrous Mistake on New York Knicks’ Broadcast
On Sunday, April 30th, the New York Knicks led the Miami Heat, 55-50, as the first half came to an end. The Knicks had started the game red-hot, but had cooled off in the game's second quarter, allowing the Heat to close the gap between the two teams.
As play concluded in the first half, the television network airing the game, ABC, began its halftime report. It was during this halftime coverage that the network made an egregious error, infuriating New York Knicks' fans and confusing viewers nationwide.
ABC Airs Shocking Stock Footage During NY Knicks-Heat Game 1 Halftime
A story from Awful Announcing and other outlets detailed the shocking error that aired on ABC as part of their coverage of Game 1 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Knicks and Heat.
The game had reached halftime, and the network was in the midst of its halftime coverage. They had just finished showing a teaser for the next game that would be aired on the network that day; Game 7 between the Warriors and Kings.
As the production staff prepared to go to commercial break, they took a moment to acknowledge one of their sponsors, MetaQuest. That's where the error was committed. Watch closely:
Here's a cleaner look at the video clip, from Awful Announcing:
Your eyes weren't deceiving you. That stock footage, that was used by ABC during Sunday's game, had the World Trade Center in the background.
Here were some of the responses from angered and confused basketball fans:
I feel as though I'm stating the obvious when I saw that, clearly, the production staff at ABC, ESPN and Disney were not trying to purposely upset viewers with stock video footage that included the World Trade Center. It was a mistake, I'm sure, but it's one that won't be forgotten anytime soon.
The gaffe also comes on the heels of news that Disney, the parent company of ABC and ESPN, would be going through a massive round of layoffs at the end of April. Most on-air sports personalities (broadcasters, hosts, etc.) weren't impacted, but a decent percentage of off-air staff (producers, directors, etc.) were impacted by those decisions in some way.
The less employees you have available while producing complex sports broadcasts, like an NBA playoff game, the better chance there is that a mistake could be made. It's an unfortunate look for ABC, and it distracted from what was an outstanding day of action in the NBA.