On November 17, 1968, a football game between fierce rivals the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets ran long. Kickoff was at 4 p.m., but a closely fought contest was still going on three hours later, when the television broadcaster, NBC, was scheduled to air its movie Heidi.
As 7:00 approached, viewers began flooding the NBC switchboard with calls, some demanding to see the end of the game, others concerned that Heidi wouldn’t start on time. Amid confusion and crossed wires at the network, the decision was made to switch to Heidi, and as a result, East Coast viewers missed the game’s last minute, which saw the Raiders score two touchdown to come from behind and win 43-32.
Football fans were apoplectic, but NBC, attempting to make amends, managed to anger the Heidi audience as well when it chose the emotional scene in which Heidi’s disabled cousin Clara struggles to walk as the best moment to display an onscreen message with the final score.
Keep your finger on the pulse, everybody!