Football fans across a large swath of Southern California were deprived of live coverage of the Super Bowl on Sunday evening when Time Warner Cable's feed appeared to cut out in the second quarter for about an hour.
The outage, which began shortly before 5 p.m., appeared to affect customers in and around Los Angeles County, from Hacienda Heights and Hancock Park to Santa Monica, and in some parts of Ventura County.
In South L.A., Merv Evans said after his screen went black, he called his aunt, who was also watching in the area and became convinced it was a conspiracy to deprive the neighborhood of the Super Bowl.
"It's an important game. Very important game," said Evans, 60.
Frustrated viewers called newspaper tip lines and turned to the Web, complaining on Twitter. "I'd rather have cable in North Korea than Time Warner Cable," user Paige Graham wrote. Many offered tips for viewing, suggesting that people switch to the Spanish-language channel or the high-definition one.
Some were upset about missing more than just the game: "Time warner cable went out and made me miss David Beckham's commercial. I will never get over this," user Kristin Schuppert tweeted.
Time Warner representatives said through their Southern California Twitter account that they were investigating an issue with the feed. "We're working to resolve," they wrote.
In an email, spokesman Dennis Johnson said the high-definition signal was available, and officials were working to restore the regular signal "as quickly as possible." Customers reported signals had returned about 6 p.m.
"We were watching it, enjoying it and then it went out," said Cindy Kimura, who was watching with family in Orange. "Unhappy. That's an understatement," she said.