Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden Credit: The Indianapolis Star

The finish to the 2024 Indianapolis 500 was a thrilling one as Josef Newgarden passed Pato O’Ward on the final lap and became the first back-to-back winner of the Indianapolis 500 since Helio Castroneves did it 22 years ago.

NBC viewers in Madison, WI will just have to take our word for it.

In a move that called back the infamous Heidi Game between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, NBC affiliate WMTV 15 cut to a 30-second commercial break during the final lap when the drivers were still dueling for the lead. By the time the commercial break ended, the race was over.

Oddly, the feed went silent for a few seconds before the commercial break occurred.

Two commercials, one for Madison Area Technical College and one for Spectrum, played on the main feed before the broadcast returned.

Zach Heilprin, sports director at Madison’s The Zone sports talk radio station, noted that on the YouTube TV feed, only the first commercial played before the feed cut back to the race.

Other viewers from around the region also noted that their local NBC affiliates cut away during the race for weather updates as a severe thunderstorm and tornadoes moved through the Midwest, but that’s something a lot more common and understandable.

The NBC feed from Indianapolis cut out for around 10 minutes early in the race due to the weather. However, this move did not appear to be weather-related.

[David Petroff, Zach Heilprin]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to