PHOENIX — A Tucson television station's broadcast of the Super Bowl on Sunday was interrupted for some viewers by about 30 seconds of pornographic material, the station said. A short clip from an adult movie channel showing full male nudity interrupted the Comcast feed came just after the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald scored on a long touchdown reception during the final minutes of the game, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The 30-second interruption was from the adult film Club Jenna and showed a woman unzipping a man's pants followed by a sexual act between the two, the paper reported. "I just figured it was another commercial until I looked up," Arizona resident Cora King told the Daily Star. "Then he did his little dance with everything hanging out." A Comcast spokeswoman said she had "no idea" how the porn got into the feed. KVOA TV said it will investigate the incident.
"When the NBC feed of the Super Bowl was transmitted from KVOA to local cable providers and through over-the-air antennas, there was no pornographic material," KVOA president and general manager Gary Nielsen said in a statement. The KVOA statement said the station was dismayed and disappointed that some Comcast customers and their families were subjected to the material.
"KVOA will continue to investigate what happened to our clean signal and make sure our viewers get answers," Nielsen said in the statement. Comcast spokeswoman Tracy Baumgartner confirmed that the company's standard feed was interrupted during the Super Bowl, although she said its high definition feed was not. Baumgartner said engineers were investigating Sunday night. Tucson media outlets reported that they received calls from irate viewers about the pornographic material.
A spokesman for Cox Cable said the company had not been affected. "We have received no evidence that any inappropriate material was broadcast on any of our channels during the Super Bowl," Mike Dunne said. "The alleged incident appears to be isolated to the Comcast territory. We will offer our support to all appropriate organizations to help them determine what happened."
A missing St. John's student was found alive and was reunited with her family Monday after admitting she ran away rather than tell them she was expelled from school. Erica Desai,19, called 911 Monday morning from a pay phone at Stillwell and Avenue B, claiming she didn't know where she was. Desai said she had been abducted, but after further questioning by police she admitted to running away. Desai had been missing since Jan. 20 when a cousin dropped her off at her dorm near Union Turnpike and Utopia Parkway in Queens. Police said that university officials told them that Desai, a freshman, was expelled after being accused of using someone else's credit card. Surveillance cameras caught an unidentified man and woman using Desai's debit card at a Bank of America ATM at 44th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan on Jan. 21. Desai had also posted online messages saying she wanted to run away. Desai left the 107th precinct with her family on Monday night. She is not expected to face any charges.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that troubled financial giant Citigroup is considering pulling out of their $400 million marketing deal with the Mets. The deal includes the naming rights to the stadium opening this April, which was to be called Citi Field. The news comes on the heels of last Wednesday's letter from Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ted Poe to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The letter asked Geithner to dissolve the deal as part of the government's agreement to provide Citigroup with more than $350 billion as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. On Monday, Citigroup said none of the TARP money would be used for the stadium, but that's splitting hairs to the extreme. The public's been told time and again that the banks are evil and that spending money on a stadium marketing deal is bad. Citigroup could (and should) argue that having the rights to process every credit card transaction at Mets games for the next 20 years, and whatever other banking operations go on, can be profitable. Really, what's more damaging, the Citigroup/Mets deal or the government's continual demonizing of banks whose future is intertwined with the economic health of our country? That's the thing about easy targets, they tend not to bring much return on the back end. As for the Mets, the last thing they need is the loss of $20 million a year in revenue. Someone else will step up and play sponsor, but not for the same amount of money. The Wilpons have been adamant that their losses in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme won't affect the Mets, but at some point things will catch up with them. Teams rely on these sponsorship deals for direct revenue and, as Yankee blog River Ave. Blues pointed out on Monday, broadcasters pay their rights fees with their help. With belts being tightened everywhere, the loss of these funds could have a profound impact on the sports world. The Citigroup deal is the highest profile one, but it probably won't be the last one that goes sour in the coming months and years. [UPDATE]: CNBC Channel is reporting that Citigroup denies any talk of a pullout. Citigroup told the cable channel that they "signed a legally binding agreement with the New York Mets in 2006. No TARP capital will be used for Citi Field or for marketing purposes." Additionally, the Mets told CNBC on Tuesday that "Citi reinforced that they will honor our legally binding agreement."