The New York Jets had an awful performance Sunday afternoon against the Cincinnati Bengals, but maybe not as bad as CBS Sports.
Early in the fourth quarter, as the Jets were driving down the field in hopes of cutting into the Bengals’ 15-point lead, CBS’s coverage of the game started to get a little shoddy. The feed began to scramble and the picture flipped to a blue screen multiple times before the game eventually went off-air completely.
Following an unexpected commercial break, CBS returned with a single camera shot from high up in the stadium near midfield and no audio. After about 25 seconds, crowd noise returned, although the sound seemed like it may have been artificial. At 30 seconds, The NFL Today host James Brown could be heard on a hot mic asking, “are we calling it?” And 45 seconds in, the CBS NFL studio crew finally chimed in to offer some commentary.
“We are experiencing technical difficulties,” Brown said as he began calling the game from afar. CBS Sports later commented on the situation to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post with one of the more obvious statements the network has ever issued, confirming “there were technical issues” at the stadium.
Ultimately the audience, especially Jets fans, didn’t miss much. The score was 27-12 when the feed dropped, it was 27-12 when it returned, and it was 27-12 when the game ended. Technical difficulties happen, but the Jets have been stuck in a downward spiral for over a decade and we don’t need their ineptitude wearing off on others.
Because the Jets have been so bad for so long, it’s rare that they get a game covered by a network’s A or B-team of broadcasters. No offense to Andrew Catalon or Spero Dedes, but I’m sure even they wouldn’t mind the occasional break from calling Jets’ games. CBS deemed this Jets matchup with last season’s AFC Champion Bengals worthy of Ian Eagle and Charles Davis, but unfortunately it wasn’t without a hitch.