ESPN drops the ball

Local fans didn't get to see Shay Doron cap the second-half comeback.

shay doron 88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
shay doron 88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
An Israeli was starring in one of the biggest championship games in the US, but local fans who were either watching or recording the live broadcast didn't get to see her cap the second-half comeback. ESPN Israel, which was broadcasting the college women's basketball national championship final, lost its satellite signal for about 10 minutes early Wednesday morning. The block of time that we missed ran from eight minutes left in regulation, when Duke was leading by five, to 3:33 left. Shay Doron and the Terps had completed a comeback from a 13-point deficit and the game was knotted at 62. Interested fans would have to read later that Doron herself had tied the game at 58-58 with 6:15 remaining by nailing two free throws. To add to the frustration, the channel did not broadcast the game on tape delay later Wednesday night, as its published schedule had indicated. Instead, ESPN Israel was broadcasting Tuesday morning's men's championship game. Many might view this cup as half-full. Just a few years ago the chances were extremely slim that any Israeli channel would have even broadcasted either of these games. However, I must concur with the "half-empty" crowd, as represented by a comment sent to one Israeli Web site that denounced ESPN Israel's poor broadcast quality in this day and age. Unfortunately, ESPN Israel does not publicize any method for viewer feedback - especially not from Hebrew-speakers. While the cable and satellite companies' customer and technical support departments may have been surprised by a wave of calls from irate viewers shortly after 4 a.m. on Wednesday, it sure would be nice to make our voices heard directly with the content provider. The writer is Deputy Sports Editor of The Jerusalem Post.