Clipping of CFL game 'incorrect decision,' says CBC Sports boss

The head of CBC Sports admits CBC goofed after football fans outside Saskatchewan were not shown the conclusion of Saturday's Roughriders-Edmonton Eskimos game.

The head ofCBC Sports admits CBC goofed after football fans outside Saskatchewan were not shown theconclusion of Saturday's Roughriders-Edmonton Eskimos game.

"We screwed up, we made a mistake," Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports, told CBC Saskatchewan radio host Ted Deller on Monday.

"It starts at the top. The head guy shouldn't have turned off his cellphone at 11 o'clock at night."

However, there were unique circumstances surrounding the game that Saskatchewan came from behind to win 39-32, Moore said.

The game in Regina was delayed for 55 minutes after a lightning strike knocked out power to Mosaic Stadium and CBC's broadcast truck.

"It knocked out all the power in the stadium, knocked out all the power in our truck, knocked out our phone lines," Moore said.

Edmonton was ahead 32-27 when the lights went out.

During the outage, CBC switched to a Nick Nolte movie, The Good Thief. When the power came back on, only viewers in Saskatchewan got to see the final 13 minutes when the Riders scored 12 points.

That had some Canadian Football League fans fuming on internet chat groups.

"Was quite ticked," was one of the milder comments on the CFL's online forum Monday.

"If it was a Leafs game, they woulda went back to it," wrote another fan.

CBC announced on Sunday it would rebroadcast the final quarter of the game across Canada early Monday morning — starting at 12:30 a.m. local time.

Moore said the decision not to resume the game Saturday in other parts of Canada was made by "someone in our programming department."He didn't name the person.

"It was just an incorrect decision," he said.

Reminiscent of 'Heidi Bowl'

Some newspaper commentators said the incident was reminiscent of 1968's so-called Heidi Bowl.

U.S. football fans were outraged that year when they missed the last 65 seconds of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders NFL game after NBC switched to a made-for-TV Heidi movie. The Jets had been leading, but during the final seconds, the Raiders came back to score 14 points and win.

Moore said CBC Sports has learned its lesson and is taking steps to make sure there won't be a repeat of what happened Saturday.

"When you start something, you need to finish it," he said.

As well, there should have been a "crawl" on the bottom the screen explaining what was happening.

Finally, the head of CBC Sports will make sure to leave his cellphone on from now on, he said.

Saturday's win put Saskatchewan in first place in the CFL West.