Comcast confident about broadcast of Thursday’s Seahawks game

The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, supported by an ever-increasing number of fans, are set to appear on TV when they face the Oakland Raiders in a pre-season game Thursday night (Aug. 28).

Now, Thurston County fans are just hoping they can see the game on TV. The second half of last Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bears was almost unwatchable for many Comcast customers. The televised image was choppy, or appeared to streak across the screen, making it difficult to determine what was happening on the football field, and the announcers’ comments were unintelligible.

But Comcast officials say they are confident there won’t be a problem this week.

Dan Fagan, 63, of Lacey was so upset about the quality of the broadcast that he reported it to The Olympian Friday night. In a follow-up call, Fagen, a longtime Seahawks’ fan, said the problem started during the second half and continued until the end of the game.

“It was all mixed up,” said Fagen about his televised image. “I couldn’t piece it together.”

And Fagen wasn’t the only one in the Olympia area who was having problems. Frustrated customers took to Facebook and Twitter to air their grievances.

Some complained directly to the Twitter handle for Comcast in Washington state. Jeff Bohl of Lacey tweeted: “This is unacceptable Comcast.”

And Comcast responded: “There was an engineering issue in your area that happened at the worst possible time. Many apologies.” They also included the hashtag: “MurphysLaw.”

Comcast spokesman Steve Kipp said the problem originated at the Olympia “head end,” which he described as the brains of the cable system, where signals are received and then pushed out to customers through routers and other equipment.

“We have the latest, most high-tech tools and we knew immediately there was an issue and where it was occurring and worked on it right away,” Kipp said. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience to customers. We know there are a ton of Seahawks’ fans out there and we apologize.”

Kipp said it was not a capacity issue — too many people watching or online at the same time — and the fact the technical issues were resolved right after the game ended was a coincidence.

“We are confident that it’s not going to happen again,” Kipp said.

The Seattle Seahawks are set to take on the Oakland Raiders at 7 p.m. Thursday on Q13 Fox.