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1960s / Heidi Game 1968
The 'Heidi Game' is a derisive nickname given to the New York Jets-Oakland Raiders AFL game played on Sunday, November 17, 1968. It was a much-anticipated marquee clash between two 7-2 teams that was regionally televised by NBC. Well, it was partially televised by NBC--and that was the problem. The game, scheduled for a 4 p.m. eastern start, ran beyond the three-hour time frame allotted to it by the network. At 7 p.m., with the Jets leading 32-29 with 65 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, NBC abruptly cut away from the football broadcast without warning to its scheduled programming: a made-for-TV version of the children's classic 'Heidi.' (NBC had been heavily promoting the movie as part of sweeps week.) Outraged football fans swamped NBC and its affiliates with angry phone calls. They became even angrier after viewers learned that Oakland had scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win 43-32. The uproar reached the front page of the next day's New York Times and national newscasts. The result was that after 1968, pro football broadcasting agreements required the networks to show games in their entirety.