ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — My, My, My – what a mess. But a KASY official says it won't happen again.
University of New Mexico men's basketball fans hoping to watch the Lobos' game at Hawaii late Friday night were instead left staring at Scott Galetti, Mike Locksley and some confusing crawlers across their television screens.
Albuquerque's KASY, My50-TV, was slated to air the game – which UNM won 83-71 – starting at 11 p.m. Friday. It never happened.
"We apologize to our loyal viewers and Lobo fans for the inconvenience of not being able to watch," KASY General Manger Stan Gill told the Journal on Saturday. "Equipment incompatibility between the uplink provider's send station and My50-TV's receive station was the issue. Engineers on both ends tried diligently for hours, utilizing numerous resources, and we were still unable to connect the Hawaii signal."
As a result, when 11 p.m. rolled around Friday night, there was no basketball game. Instead, the Lobo football coach's show with Galetti and Locksley was aired. Making matters worse, the station didn't provide the viewers information about its problems until 11:25 p.m.
But that was botched, too.
The crawler read: Due to technical difficulties, the Lobos game will be delayed.
Then it got even worse.
Just seconds before halftime, the crawler was updated: Due to technical difficulties, the Lobos game has been canceled.
The game, of course, wasn't delayed or canceled. The broadcast was.
"From what I understand, we found out there were problems about an hour before the game and they tried diligently to bring the signal in," Gill said " So why did that crawl go up so late? We really, truly should have communicated more quickly.
"I believe the guy working on the signal was thinking, 'any moment, any moment, any moment.' I believe he got caught up in that and did not get that crawl on soon enough.
"And then the accuracy of the crawl? My God, my God," Gill said with a chuckle. "Obviously the game wasn't delayed. Then the game wasn't canceled; the broadcast of the game was. They simply wrote it wrong. We truly are very, very sorry. We truly regret it."
Gill said that tests from the islands were scheduled during the week, but that the Hawaiian uplink service had a "bunch of other commitments. We tried for several days, but they couldn't do it."
Still, Gill said he never anticipated any problems.
"We had everything in place," he said.
My50-TV is slated to carry the Lobos' games at San Diego (Dec. 9) and at Oral Roberts (Dec. 23). Gill said he's certain the problems won't happen again.
"We've got all the equipment," he said. "For whatever reason, we could not pull that feed in. Our guys do it all the time, it was just one that did not happen. They receive hundreds of feeds a week.
"Now on the crawl – I don't want to lambast that guy. I'll take full responsibility for that."
Gill said he will meet with Lobo Sports Properties, which set up the game with KASY, and sponsors on Monday about the fiasco. He said the station would "make good" with the sponsors to offset advertising costs.
The game was also slated to be shown on tape-delay Saturday but wasn't because the feed never got taped.
DASHING DEBUT: Because of the TV foul-up, KKOB's Scott Didrickson probably had a bigger audience for his debut as play-by-play man than he might have anticipated. Didrickson, who normally is the color man on the radio broadcast, flew solo Friday and did an excellent job in filling in for Galetti – who was in Fort Worth for Saturday's UNM-TCU football game.