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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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WTSP goes off air for many during ‘Survivor’

CBS affiliate WTSP-TV was unavailable for over-the-air, Comcast and Dish Network customers for more than two hours Wednesday night due to a power failure at the television station’s Riverview transmitter.

The blackout, which ran from about 7 to 9:30 p.m., occurred during the airing of the season premiere of “Survivor: Cagayan.”

A power failure in the area of the transmitter occured about 5:15 p.m., when a fault in an underground line caused some switches to fail, Tampa Electric spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said.

WTSP general manager Elliot Wiser said in a statement posted on the station’s Facebook page that its generator failed for about two hours into the power failure.

“We got it fixed at around 9:30,” Wiser said in the statement. “We will be installing two pumps to make sure this doesn’t happen again and will review our inspection schedule to make it better.”

TECO said the power failure affected 17 customers, including the transmitter, and took until about 12:30 a.m. Thursday to repair.

Jacob said such a switch failure typically creates sparks from above-ground lines. She said there was no fire on a power pole near the transmitter, as some witnesses described to WTSP.

Wiser said the “Survivor” episode was available on CBS.com, but WTSP was also working with the network to broadcast a rerun for local viewers.

The outage did not affect WTSP customers on Bright House or Verizon Fios cable.



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