Viewers were left confused on Thursday night when NBC twice went to commercial for seemingly no reason during its Hall of Fame Game telecast.
Play-by-play announcer Al Michaels later said on air that the unorthodox TV timeouts in the second half were planned.
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“More evenly spaced break times,” Michaels said, sounding as though he was reading from a prepared statement.
“The league is evaluating how this change impacts operations and viewer experiences before determining use in any future games.”
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In both instances, play was halted after an incomplete pass on second down. The first one was jarring to fans and media alike.
Did they just take a TV timeout in the middle of a drive? 😂😂
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 3, 2018
I don’t get a random TV timeout after a 2nd down incompletion. @NBCSportsPR
— Andrew Hofferbert (@RealAHofferbert) August 3, 2018
After the second break, the Ravens made matters worse by calling a defensive timeout with the play clock winding down. NBC did not go to commercial at that point.
Glad they took the TV timeout during the middle of a drive so we could then see a real timeout play out in real time. Riveting.
— Tom Martin (@TomKCTV5) August 3, 2018
The NFL has been working to eliminate long interruptions in play, namely the hated kick-commercial-kick-commercial sequence.
The mid-drive breaks Thursday didn’t feel like they should be part of the solution.
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