NBC springs oddly timed TV timeouts on Hall of Fame Game viewers

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.

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.

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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