The failure occurred in the moments leading up to the broadcast of the game between the Red Sox and Rays, and it has been traced to ongoing power problems in Atlanta, where Turner Broadcasting Systems is based.
"Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped, causing the master router and its backup -- which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound -- to shut down," TBS said in a statement released during Game 6, which was won by the Red Sox, 4-2.
"This impacted our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the delay in our coverage. Both our primary and backup routers were impacted by this problem. We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap that caused a delay in our coverage."
Viewers tuning in to see James Shields throw the first pitch of Saturday's game to Coco Crisp instead saw a filler episode of "The Steve Harvey Show." Part of TBS' "MLB on Deck" program also was affected by the interruption.
The first run of Game 6 -- which came on B.J. Upton's first-inning, one-out solo homer -- was not seen live by the TBS audience, though it was replayed immediately when TBS resumed its transmission during the bottom of that inning. The first image broadcast live to millions across the country was Carlos Pena working a one-out walk from Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett, and broadcaster Chip Caray said on behalf of TBS: "We apologize profusely" for the technical difficulties. The game was uninterrupted outside the United States on the MLB International feed, as well as on MLB.TV.
TBS is in the second year of a seven-year agreement to air the League Championship Series, alternating year-by-year with FOX. TBS opened its LCS coverage in 2007 with the NLCS between the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks and is in its first season airing an ALCS.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.