Originally published March 5, 2011 at 02:17p.m., updated March 5, 2011 at 09:40p.m.
With just a few minutes left in Saturday's KU-MU game, some fans in Kansas and Missouri found themselves watching an entirely different game.
KCTV in Kansas City as well as KRCG in Columbia, Mo., and KMOV in St. Louis, at least, cut away from the final few minutes of the KU-MU game in favor of the Michigan-Michigan State game. Meanwhile, fans watching on other stations, like WIBW in Topeka and KWCH in Wichita, among others, were still able to see the end of the game. An employee of the Big 12 Conference said via Twitter that neither local affiliates nor the conference were to blame for the problem.
In a statement on its Twitter feed, KCTV apologized to viewers and said that CBS told them the problem related to sun spots causing problems with the satellite feed from the national network.
In addition, station general manger Bobby Totsch posted a detailed explanation and apology on the station's website. In his statement, he said that sun spots led CBS to switch to a back-up satellite feed. Unfortunately, he said, CBS put KCTV and other local stations on the wrong back-up feed.
Totsch also acknowledged that some stations, like KMOV in St. Louis, were able to quickly regain the correct feed. KCTV, however, was unable to do so. Totsch said that in addition to rebroadcasting the second half of the game after the station's 10 p.m. news — a move he called unprecedented — the station would also work with CBS to "make sure this never happens again at KCTV5."
Nonetheless, many Kansas fans — and Missouri fans — were outraged, and took to sites like Facebook, Twitter and even KUsports.com to voice their displeasure. Totsch also said he's received numerous calls and e-mails.
Several other CBS affiliates across the country also switched to other games, including the Oregon-Arizona game, but those switches are not believed to have been in error.