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Sunday, March 3, 2024

For Grand Rapids Lions Fans, a Dream Playoff Game Included 33 Minutes of Signal-Outage Hell

  • Lions fans in parts of Michigan were blacked out for half an hour during Sunday’s game.
  • Ford Field ticket prices have skyrocketed, making it harder for fans to attend.
Detroit Lions
Syndication: Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions fans in Western Michigan missed part of their team’s biggest game in decades on Sunday as some local NBC affiliate stations experienced a blackout in the middle of the NFC divisional game.

Amanda Porter, a reporter at impacted station WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, first posted about the outage on X at 4:08 p.m. ET and encouraged viewers to head to Peacock. She later said the problem appeared to be a “network issue,” potentially linked to a “power outage at an NBC hub.” Porter posted at 4:41 p.m. ET, saying the game was back up.

“The hub our station pulls from in Indianapolis went down. So all the stations nationwide routed through that hub went down,” Porter posted in response to a confused viewer.

Coverage of the game is especially essential to Detroit fans, who faced the steepest average ticket price for a divisional game in NFL history. And it will cost even more next year to get into Ford Field after a bump in ticket prices, up to 85% in some cases.

Upset fans took to social media about the blackout. “You had one job. One GAME that really mattered!” one posted. “Fix it because we are not paying Peacock,” said another.

Luckily for the Lions faithful, a portion of the outage occurred during halftime. The teams were tied 10-10 at that point.

The Lions went on to win 31-23 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and will head to San Francisco to face the 49ers in the NFC championship on Sunday.

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