Animal gnawing on power line knocked out UK-Auburn game broadcast

An animal gnawing through a power line Wednesday night caused a disruption for many viewers of the men's basketball game between the University of Kentucky and Auburn University that aired on Lexington CBS affiliate WKYT (Channel 27).

Mike Kanarek, WKYT's vice president of operations, said the animal ate away at a line on the station's property and caused an electrical outage. The station has a backup generator that kicked in within a minute, but it took 10 to 12 minutes for its transmitter to cycle back up and resume broadcasting the game, he said. Coverage of the game was out from 9:27 to 9:42 p.m.

The disruption was far shorter for Insight Communications cable customers. The cable provider receives WKYT's programming via a fiber feed that was down only for the minute or so before the generator kicked in. All other cable providers and satellite companies receive programming via the station's transmitter.

"When we get into the NCAA tournament and Final Four or Super Bowls or any other really big events, we will go over to the generator prior to that event and run the station on the generator just in case something happens," Kanarek said. "You never know when a car may hit a pole and knock out power.

"But this being an early season game, we don't take the same precautions."

Kanarek said the station received only a handful of calls from viewers and no emails about the outage.

He didn't say what kind of animal was to blame, but it most assuredly was not a tiger.

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