by Max Barry

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Region: Texas

It was 52 years ago this evening that NBC Television Network executives made a decision that would live in infamy. That decision led to the network droping the Raiders-Jets game in favor of their much publicized made for TV movie Heidi.[1]

Prior to the game, NBC President Julian Goodman ordered that Heidi would start on time.

However, by half time the pace of the game had network executives discussing whether or not the game would run long and whether or not to stay with the game. At 6:45 the decision was made to stay with the game and start Heidi late.

Alas, viewers being inundated with promos for Heidi flooded the NBC switchboard. Some were demanding the game remain, others were demanding Heidi start on time.

The call to delay Heidi in favor of the game never made it to master control. Master control personnel executed their last, highest order. NBC left the game with 1:01 on the clock and the Jets leading 32-29.

In the next minute of play, the Raiders scored a two play touchdown, and then the Raiders recovered a fumbled kickoff and ran it back for another touchdown, ending the game in a 43-32 Raiders win.

And the telephone exchange serving NBC went off line. Frustrated football fans even began calling the police in such numbers as to threaten that telephone exchange as well.

My grandfather and I were among those watching that game. He was not a happy grandpa. Had he not been so frugal, he too would have been calling New York.

The next morning the headline in the Rocky Mountain News read, "Heidi You Like That, Sports Fans?" Monday night NBC publicly apologized on the The Huntley-Brinkley Report.[2] They ran the last minute of the football game as part of the newscast.

The now infamous Heidi game set policies among all the networks and the NFL that are still in place today, 52 years later.
— Master controls all have "Heidi phones" that originate from a different telephone exchange then the home exchange for the network.
— The networks will not dump out of a football game (or most other sporting events) before it is over.
— The NFL put language in future broadcast contracts that guarantees viewers in the home and visiting broadcast areas will see the entire game.

You have to wonder what it was like to be one of those execs desperately trying to call into NBC master as the the opening of Heidi ran on their home TV's.
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[1] https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-heidi-bowl
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mXZ9Iy2CDQ&t=1321

Indian Empire wrote:a) Shouldn't you thank Elon Musk & SpaceX instead? It's not like Trump actively increased NASA funding or persued anot

<—SNIP—>

Incorrect. President Obama ordered the last manned spaceflight programs inside of NASA shut down. Obama made huge cuts in the funding that keeps the Kennedy Space Center up and running, pretty much making sure there would be no more manned flights out of KSC. Hillary had already made noises about taking even more of that budget "for more worthy causes." That is the facility that Space X launches from.

President Trump restored those funds and put a lot of those KSC personnel back to work. The Trump administration made adjustments in contracts to make sure the users of that facility were paying enough to cover government expenses.

Frankly, it sounds like you are Jealous of Elon...

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