Solar Eclipse Pay-Per-View Sales Smash Record, Leading to Network Blackout

The moon eclipses the sun in the total solar eclipse of 2017.

The total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was arguably the most heavily anticipated event of the year. The 7 million people, who ordered it on pay-per-view tuned in to watch as the sky suddenly darkened and the Sun’s shimmering corona became visible for nearly two spectacular minutes.

For many, the natural phenomenon was supposed to create a lifelong memory. However, the overwhelming number of pay-per-view buyers led to an HBO network blackout. Many viewers were initially confused, mistakenly believing they were witnessing the eclipse as the network blackout took effect.

“I’ve been waiting since 1979 to see another total solar eclipse,” said Montana resident Nicholas Calhoun. “They can’t give me back what I missed.”

HBO issued an apology immediately after for the error, promising full refunds to viewers, but for many the network’s effort is not enough.

“Thank the heavens, I had it TiVoed,” said Jen Tilly. “I heard it was gonna be postponed for bad weather, anyhow. My friends weren’t so lucky.”


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