The semifinal match between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka was down to the final points of the decisive tiebreaker when the feed from London disappeared. Bewildered tennis fans saw a package of canned hockey highlights before coverage resumed, with the match over.
"What occurred during the final moments of Saturday's match between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka was a result of human error," a Sportsnet spokeswoman said in a statement Monday. "We posted an apology on social media following the incident but it was not immediately acknowledged on-air, so our viewing audience did not receive a proper explanation in the moment.
"Our audience was justifiably upset, and we sincerely apologize. We are not taking this situation lightly and will be taking appropriate action — we hold our on-air presentation team to the highest standards, and these standards were not upheld on Saturday during this tennis match. Our audiences deserve better."
The initial apology via Twitter read: "Sportsnet apologizes for the transmission error which impacted the end of the ATP 1000 Barclays Semifinal - Federer v Wawrinka broadcast."
The network did air the full match again later.
Federer won 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6) but withdrew from Sunday's final against Novak Djokovic citing back problems.