Phone lines were jammed, tempers flared, and some people went searching for rabbit ears as pictures froze on many Eastern Carolina TV sets during Super Bowl Sunday.
Those watching the big game on Fox affiliate WYDO in Greenville noticed video glitches throughout the first half. Momentary picture freezes grew into longer periods of the same picture appearing frozen on the screen.
The problem apparently was a microwave signal fade with WYDO. WFXI in Morehead City, also a Fox affiliate, was not affected.
The problems persisted into the second quarter, then after a period without sound things appeared to have returned to normal.
Problems arose again at approximately 8:15 p.m. when Tom Petty was wrapping up the half time show. The picture froze for over 15 minutes before going to black, then returned at 8:48 p.m., late in the 3rd quarter.
One bar in Beaufort County got so frustrated with the bad signal that they put on Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" on one of their big screens.
The Super Bowl snafu is also getting some political yardage. Monday night Beaufort County commissioners authorized a resolution be drafted to let WYDO know of their displeasure with the station's performance on Super Bowl Sunday.
WFXI/WYDO general manager Don Fisher tells WITN News that atmospheric conditions caused the microwave link from their studios to transmitter to fail. Fisher apologized to viewers and said the station's new owners want to fix the problems.