A technical problem was blocking WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and many other television stations from reaching the over-the-air customers for some time now. WBZ is a CBS affiliate and their sister station WSBK-TV (Channel 38) were not able to broadcast to their over-the-air viewers, as a result of transmission failure that occurred on Saturday afternoon at a 12,000 ft. high tower located in Needham. However, the over-the-air broadcasts were restored after 04:00 p.m. on Monday, after about forty-eight hours of transmission failure. WBZ said that the stormy weather of Friday night resulted in the transmission failure.
The statement released by the President and General of WBZ TV, Mark Lund, says, “Tonight, we would like to extend our sincere apologies to our loyal viewers. There was a disruption of service over the past 24 hours, due to a transmission issue, that mainly affected our over-the-air viewers. We understand this is both frustrating and inconvenient.”
“Please know that WBZ-TV is continuing to work around the clock to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We will continue to provide updates on air and on our website at cbsboston.com as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience and understanding,” he added.
Most of the cable viewers were not affected by the outage and service for the satellite TV networks like DirecTV packages and Dish Network were restored by Sunday afternoon. As per the reports of TV trade association TVB, only about 3.7% of the total TV viewers in Boston Manchester area watch television over-the-air. However, over-the-air viewers of were not able to watch Sunday’s Patriot Steelers game on WBZ.
WGBX-TV (channel 44), which is a sister of WGBH-TV (Channel 2), also makes use of the same antenna and it was also unable to reach the over-the-air viewers due to the hiccup. WBZ spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins said that WGBH also makes use of the tower, but transmission is done through a different antenna. The over-the-air signal of WGBH was shut down for many hours, so that the workers can safely scale the tower to inspect and fix the damage.
Another station that shares this antenna, ABC affiliate WCVB (channel 5), was also affected by the problem, even though the channel was able to reach some of the viewers making use of an auxiliary system.