An ESPN SportsCenter hit from the Masters. An ESPN SportsCenter hit from the Masters on April 5, 2023.

Technical difficulties happen, especially during live broadcasts. It’s more unusual to see those during a studio show, but they certainly happens there as well, and on-location shows can be particularly vulnerable to that. And that seemed to be the case Wednesday with ESPN’s noon Eastern SportsCenter, which is on location at the Masters Wednesday-Friday ahead of the 87th edition of that tournament, but which lost picture for a full minute coming back from break there partway through Wednesday’s show.

The audio there came through just fine, but the video did not. And that would normally be mostly fine for something that just involves on-air figures (in this case, Matt Barrie, Sage Steele, and Andy North, seen above at center, left, and right respectively after the picture came back) discussing an upcoming event. But it was particularly unfortunate here, with this specific segment going over a couple of holes (numbers 13 and 15), and how No. 13 was lengthened by 35 yards ahead of this year’s event. That certainly would have worked better as a TV segment if they’d been able to show graphics on the hole under discussion. Instead, viewers wound up with an audio-only podcast until the video came back.

As mentioned, this is far from the only case of technical difficulties impacting a broadcast. And this only lasted a minute, and only impacted a studio show during the middle of a workday rather than a live event in primetime or on the weekend, so the amount of viewers impacted isn’t the world’s highest. But this was still an unfortunate moment for ESPN, especially with a specific hole under discussion.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.