Monday, December 18, 2000
Steamboat Springs A power surge and blown fuse sparked several phone calls to the AT&T Media Services office in Craig on Sunday morning and left local cable subscribers without ESPN on a big sports day.
While the technical short circuit brought complaints from local subscribers, the operators of two local sports bars were not among the crying public.
Thanks to satellite, the Tap House and Slopeside Grill were both packed for Sunday night's game between the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts.
"My phone was ringing off the hook," said Chris Corna, owner of the Slopeside Grill. "We switched to satellite three weeks ago because our reception of ESPN was so bad on cable and it really paid off," Corna said.
Gary Saxe of the Tap House said he uses both cable and satellite in his bar. On Sunday, he was glad he had ESPN backed up by satellite.
"We had quite a few people call and then come down to see the game," Saxe said.
"We were definitely busier than normal."
While the bars were slammed, the football fans who elected to stay home missed an AFC thriller, as the Colts dumped the Dolphins in a 20-13 game.
"Apparently a power surge or a power outage blew out a fuse in the modulator, which is a piece of equipment that we receive ESPN on from satellite," said Kim Musgrove, AT&T office manager.
The system glitch apparently left many subscribers without ESPN for most of the day Sunday. Musgrove said technicians fixed the problem as soon as possible, and she said regular service was restored by Monday afternoon.
Musgrove said this type of technical problem is rare, but it does happen from time to time in the region. She also added that the problem is very challenging for cable technicians, who must figure out where the problem is in the system before it can be fixed.
Musgrove said the cable company was notified of the problem Sunday after it was alerted by several concerned customers who called the main office. She said the company didn't receive an excessive number of phone calls from customers, but there were enough that company employees realized there was a problem in the system.
"It was unfortunate because ESPN is one of our most popular channels," Musgrove said.
She added that fixing the problem wasn't as easy as pushing a button, and there was no way to fix it immediately.
The only channel affected by the blown fuse was ESPN. The rest of the cable stations were fine. Musgrove said the problem is now fixed and she doesn't expect any more problems in the near future.