Athens, GA (Oct 19, 2008) - As many readers may know by now, an equipment failure in Atlanta meant that baseball fans could not see the first 20-25 minutes of last night's Game 6 between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on TBS. What added fuel to the anger of disappointed fans is that they could see re-runs of "The Steve Harvey Show" and an old Dick Clark bloopers show, but not even a graphics crawl explaining the problem.
While fans may have thought this would be an easy thing to do, nothing is always so easy when it comes to technology with many moving parts. According to a source close to the situation, here is why TBS had to do what they did:
The feed originated from Tampa and in basic terms when both the router and backup router failed in Atlanta the signal was trapped there and we were unable to send out live video (i.e. Steve Harvey show is taped). They were able to fix the problem in Atlanta to get us back on the air. Since we couldn't send the video anywhere else. We couldn't send it to Hot Corner or any of our sister networks.
While may people have been bashing TBS for last night's problem, even the best laid out disaster recovery plans cannot accommodate the failure of both the primary and back-up routers, especially when dealing with video. Even with computer networks, it is not an easy task. So instead of berating TBS for something they had little control over, people should thank them that they worked as quickly as they did to get back on the air. Then save the criticisms for things that were and are in their control.
And let's hope that what happened forces TBS to look at their infrastructure and factor what happened last night into future disaster planning.