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Fox Sports loses audio of U.S. Open for eight minutes

The control room inside the FOX Sports production

The control room inside the FOX Sports production trailer displays scores of screens used by workers for the media outlet's television broadcast of the U.S. Open at at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton on Wednesday. Credit: James Escher

Fox Sports has been particularly proud of its enhanced audio since it began carrying the U.S. Open in 2015, with microphones all over the course, including in the cups.

On Friday at Shinnecock Hills, it endured two audio-related glitches, including losing audio altogether for about eight minutes.

Early in the afternoon, it inadvertently picked up sound of two people in the gallery having a graphic, sex-related conversation. “During the live FS1 broadcast of the 2018 U.S. Open, one of the many microphones on the course inadvertently picked up some offensive crowd chatter,” a Fox Sports spokeswoman said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize.”

Host Joe Buck was talking about golfer Patrick Reed when the chatter was heard. He did not refer to it on the air, and it was not clear whether he had heard any of it.

Even in its first year, when some elements of Fox’s coverage were criticized, its audio enhancements received good reviews and often picked up more sounds from the course than most golf telecasts do.

Regarding losing audio, Fox issued a statement: “Our main audio board crashed, which is an extremely rare occurrence. It took a few minutes to get it back up, but we’ve returned to full capacity.”

After the audio returned, Buck alluded to audio problems that had occurred throughout the day. It was not clear whether he was referring to the fan chatter.

He also joked about the eight minutes of silence: “The reviews are in. They’re saying we never sounded better.”

New York Sports