When Justin Williams tied the game with less than 32 seconds remaining last night to prolong Game 1 of the Kings-Blues Western Conference Quarterfinals, FOX Sports West / Prime Ticket was tasked with a challenging decision on how to broadcast three of its partners on only two channels. There is an overflow channel that had been available for regular season Dodgers games in the past, though it was not utilized in this situation.
FOX Sports West chose to use a split-screen to broadcast both the Kings and Clippers at the same time, a decision that was soundly rejected by Kings fans, who did not have the option of switching over to the national broadcast of the playoff game. Whereas the Clippers game was simultaneously broadcast on TNT, the CNBC national broadcast of Kings-Blues was blacked out in the Los Angeles area.
On Wednesday, FOX Sports West offered an apology for its programming decision and clarified how the situation would be handled should there be another challenging overlap of a combination of Kings, Ducks, Clippers, Dodgers and Angels games.
“We sincerely apologize to the Kings and the Clippers and their fans,” said Steve Simpson, senior vice president and general manager, FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket. “We didn’t serve them as well we should have with our coverage of last night’s games. Going forward, there is a plan in place to ensure all remaining playoff games are seen in their entirety, which includes lifting local blackouts if necessary.”