The NFL Network is receiving criticism for its coverage — or lack thereof — of Franco Harris’ jersey retirement ceremony at Acrisure Stadium on Saturday.
The network had mentioned the ceremony at length in the days and hours leading up to the ceremony, which took place during halftime of Pittsburgh’s home game vs. the Raiders. The event took on even greater importance considering it was the 50th anniversary of his legendary “Immaculate Reception” and occurred just days following his death at the age of 72. NFLN even produced the ‘Franco Harris: A Football Life’ TV special ahead of the games, halftime tributes.;
So, when the NFL and NFLN made such an effort to make sure people knew about the tribute and the anniversary, it came as a shock to many when the network cut away to commercial during the ceremony.
The NFL Network showed only a portion of the ceremony, which included members of the 1972 team. Owner Art Rooney II directed the fans in attendance to look at the video board, which was to show a video honoring Harris’ Hall of Fame career with the Steelers.
Just as the video was beginning playing, however, the NFL Network cut away to commercial. By the time the network came back to the game, the video had concluded, angry leaving fans all over the country.
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Viewers saw the Franco Harris jersey retirement ceremony. But when a video tribute was played at Acrisure Stadium, the NFL Network went commercial. pic.twitter.com/lqHGwRteLm
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 25, 2022
Here’s a brief snippet as Harris’ jersey was officially retired:
An emotional moment in Pittsburgh as Franco Harris’ #32 jersey is officially retired. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/cpbufU6qgG
— NFL (@NFL) December 25, 2022
That wasn’t enough for myriad fans who wanted to watch the memorial for one of the iconic Steelers players in franchise history:
WAAAIITTT… no no no no no no
Why is NFL Network cutting to break during the Franco Harris tribute in-stadium?? 😞
— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) December 25, 2022
NFL network not showing the Steelers tribute video to Franco Harris is absolutely criminal
— sam (@sammontrose22) December 25, 2022
very weird to mention it multiple times, run segments on it and then cut to commercial when the tribute actually happens https://t.co/vURSTX7ara
— Arif Hasan, but NFL 🏈 (@ArifHasanNFL) December 25, 2022
Really upset that NFL Network cut away from the Franco Harris tribute video tonight during the Steelers-Raiders game… hoping to see it somewhere
— Madison Williams (@madisonwsports) December 25, 2022
@nflnetwork Total lack of class to not show the entire halftime show retirement of Franco’s number which included a video. But, we didn’t get to see it. NO CLASS!
— pjmpoet (@pjmpoet) December 25, 2022
Thank you NFL Network for giving us a freaking Lowes commercial instead of the Franco tribute.
— JeffSmith (@JeffSmithButler) December 25, 2022
— Connie Carberg (@ConnieScouts) December 25, 2022
— Doreen Puryear Gant (@dlpgant) December 25, 2022
really @nflnetwork, you’re gonna cut away from the Steelers feed and not show the tribute to people at home ?! WTF
— Nico Tomacelli (@NicoTomacelli) December 25, 2022
— Kyle Harlow (@Kyle_Harlow) December 25, 2022
a commercial when they were about to show Franco’s tribute video on the big screen? wtf
— alex (@highlghtheaven) December 25, 2022