The extended family of New Zealand Olympic swimmer Moss Burmester missed seeing his race against American Michael Phelps on Thursday, despite their preparations to watch it on TVNZ.
The family were gathered around a television in Tauranga with special t-shirts and posters to watch Burmester swim in the men's 200 metre butterfly but technology failed them.
Burmester's aunty, Kathy Capp told Nine to Noon the family missed the entire race because the television went blank just as the event was to begin.
She says friends had to text message the result, as the reception on TVNZ was not restored in time.
Mrs Capp says it was heartbreaking to miss the race and watching the replay wasn't quite the same.
TVNZ says a switching failure at its headquarters in Auckland affected viewers receiving the broadcast via satellite - either through SKY or on Freeview - along with viewers with analog transmission in the South Island.
Burmester was in an outside lane after qualifying in seventh place. He finished equal fourth with Wu Peng of China.
Phelps was first in a new world record of 1 minute 52.03 seconds.