SHAW customers who planned to watch Monday night's Winnipeg Jets game on their televisions had to scramble to the radio or Internet sites in order to take in the first period of the team's first win.
The Calgary-based telecommunications company's feed of the TSN Jets channel was nothing more than a blank screen until just a couple of minutes were left in the first period. That meant if fans waited for the TV signal to kick in, they would have missed both of the Jets' goals, including the opener that came eight seconds into the game.
"It's a mea culpa to all of our customers. We screwed that up. It was a technical anomaly, that's the best I can put it," said Peter Bissonnette, president of the telecommunications company.
Jets chat boards lit up like a Christmas tree even before game time with many irate fans threatening to shift their cable business over to MTS or Bell, which also carry the channel.
To appease them, Bissonnette said Shaw will extend the free period of the TSN Jets channel by two games. Instead of having to pay as of Dec. 1, the home game that evening against the Phoenix Coyotes will be free, as will the Dec. 3 game against the New Jersey Devils.
Shaw and MTS TV will charge $9.95 per month for TSN Jets.
"We were the first (cable provider) to come to an agreement with Bell on carrying Jets games. We realize the importance of the Jets to Winnipeg and Manitoba and we hope from here on in that it's smooth sailing and that the Jets continue to win," he said.
Bissonnette added Shaw has also implemented a number of checks and balances to ensure future broadcasts will not encounter similar technical difficulties.
There were no reports of glitches with TSN Jets on either MTS TV or Bell. There is no charge on Bell while the free preview on MTS TV ends Oct. 31.