NBC Explains Abrupt Blackout During 2018 Super Bowl: Details

NBC Explains Abrupt Blackout During 2018 Super Bowl
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Wait, what just happened? Football fans quickly (but briefly) panicked during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 4, when the NBC broadcast went to black during the first half of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.

The incident occurred after announcers went to a commercial break. When the screen went black, many believed that millions of dollars of ad revenue may have been lost. However, the network quickly released a statement to explain what went wrong.

“We had a brief equipment failure that we quickly resolved,” an NBC spokesperson said. “No game action or commercial time were missed.”

Viewers were quick to react to the mishap on social media. “Did everyone experience that blackout or was it just me?” one person asked on Twitter. A second added: “Blackout for 12 seconds. Tony Soprano is still dead.”

Another TV blackout, of course, happened during the series finale of The Sopranos, which aired in 2007. In the final scene, Tony (the late James Gandolfini) and Carmelo Soprano (Edie Falco) are seated at a diner waiting to order before the screen goes to black. Many fans thought their cable went out, but really it was how the creator intended for it to end.

“It wasn’t written the way it happened. It was sort of a fade-to-black situation,” Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow on the HBO show, exclusively told Us Weekly in June 2017. “I knew that we didn’t film anything past me coming through the door so we thought it was just going to be a slow fade. So when we watched it as a cast for the first time and it cut to black we thought something happened to the projector. We didn’t know that was how it was going to be. … It shouldn’t have ended any other way. I thought it was perfect and I’m so happy they did it that way.”

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