'Router Failure' at TBS Cited in ALCS Outage

A power outage at TBS network’s broadcast facility in Atlanta blacked out TV coverage of almost the entire first inning of Game 6 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) tonight.  When the broadcast resumed, the Rays led 1-0 on a solo home run by outfielder B.J. Upton against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.

“Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped causing the master router and its backup – which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound – to shut down,” TBS said in a statement. “This impacted our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the delay in our coverage. Both our primary and backup routers were impacted by this problem. We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap that caused a delay in our coverage.”

TBS (Turner Broadcasting Systems) is in the second year of a seven-year agreement to air the LCS, alternating each year with Fox. During the interruption, TBS broadcast a rerun of The Steve Harvey Show. Millions of baseball fans were unamused.

Major League Baseball spokesman Rich Levin told the AP that MLB was unaware there was a problem until the broadcast failed to come on the air. No consideration was given to delaying the start of the game because the starting pitchers already had warmed up, Levin said.

TBS operates a 198,000 square foot Network Operations Center at its Techwood Campus in Atlanta (see description in PDF form here), and also has some facilities at the CNN Center.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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