Local HD viewers of ESPN2’s telecast of the OU-James Madison NCAA women’s tournament game Sunday afternoon missed most of the second half action as ESPN2 bounced around to several other games, including a big portion of the Purdue-Kansas State game, which also aired on ESPNU. After carrying much of the first half of the OU game, ESPN2 picked up only the last portion after the Sooners’ 19-point lead dwindled to six points before they prevailed 86-72.
ESPN spokesperson Rachel Margolis said standard definition viewers were able to watch the entire game under the network’s guidelines of protecting the home markets of the teams. However, Meadows said ESPN2 does not have the technology to do that with the HD broadcasts, resulting in the limited air time for the Sooners.
Margolis said the network ran a bottom line on the HD broadcast, notifying viewers to switch to the SD channel if they wanted to see the entire broadcast. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that line.
HD viewers will face the same problem Tuesday night when the Sooners face Miami, Fla., in the second round with several other games also taking place. At least, this time I will be prepared to go to the SD channel and not miss any of the action.