Comcast subscribers in the Volunteer State got caught in public access hell Tuesday night after the cable provider broadcast an Amber Alert that inadvertently locked a slew of set-top boxes on C-SPAN during prime time.
“Last night, the Comcast system serving the Nashville area experienced a problem with its emergency alert system when an AMBER alert was triggered by state authorities. Impacted customers had their equipment locked onto CSPAN for about 15 minutes,” a Comcast spokesman told HOH via email. “The company has been investigating this issue and plans to install a new EAS system as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience this disruption caused our customers and their entertainment experience."
The drama played out in real-time on Twitter, as TV viewers struggled to understand why Congress was suddenly streaming into their living rooms.
Thanks to @comcast , I am currently being forced (against my will) to watch @cspan #crueljoke #sendhelp
— Courtney McNamee (@socourtneysaid) September 18, 2013
Is locking the TV on cspan comcast's attempt to get us to stop watching TV and look for the missing child?
— justinmundie (@justinmundie) September 18, 2013
Why does the Cspan channel even exist? Who the hell watches it — Welches (@GrapeJuiceMe) September 18, 2013
I want to prank call cspan — quinn stein (@mad43dog) September 18, 2013
Steny Hoyer was a straight up boss on CSPAN. Thanks #Comcast for the history lesson.
— Jacob Davis™ (@The_JDavis_1) September 18, 2013
In the end, everything worked itself out.
@justinmundie unplug the box for 60 seconds and you get cable/DVD back
— Josh Lee (@jlees3307) September 18, 2013
Folks eventually figured out how to free themselves from the PSA lockdown.
Local amber alert - news reports they found the kid (11-year-old boy missing in Spring Hill TN).
— Bill Hobbs (@billhobbs) September 18, 2013