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#pounditWednesday, December 7, 2022

ESPN audio glitch causes headache during Grizzlies-Wolves playoff opener

The Grizzlies and Wolves playing

ESPN had some major techical difficulties during Game 1 between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

During the first quarter of the contest, the broadcast audio cut off for ESPN around the time that Dillon Brooks hit a jumper with under five minutes left in the period. The game noises and in-arena commentary from announcers Ryan Ruocco and Richard Jefferson was instead replaced by a loud, scratchy hum that sounded like something from the bowels of Hades. Take a listen.

As soon as the broadcast cut to commercial, the audio was back to normal. When the game returned, ESPN studio hosts Mike Greenberg, Jalen Rose, and Stephen A. Smith provided commentary instead as the issue was still persisting. Greenberg stated that there were technical difficulties on-site in Memphis and that they in the studio could not hear anything from inside of the arena either.

ESPN eventually ran an “audio difficulties” message in the upper right corner of the screen.

The game audio briefly returned before the end of the first quarter, and the commentary from Ruocco and Jefferson eventually did too in time for the start of the second quarter. The issue lasted about 20 minutes in real time.

But before the issue was fully solved, a funny moment came when Ruocco could be heard loudly testing the audio while on the air during live play.

The Grizzlies-Wolves game was just the second official NBA playoff game broadcast by ESPN this season (after the Dallas-Utah game earlier in the day on Saturday). Needless to say, it was a pretty inopportune time for audio difficulties (that also plagued other ESPN NBA broadcasts this year) to hit.

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