CBS pulls Billy Joel’s MSG concert broadcast mid-‘Piano Man,’ fans livid

CBS pulls Billy Joel's MSG concert broadcast mid-'Piano Man,' fans livid

They had been waiting for the longest time.

During a televised Billy Joel concert on Sunday night, enraged fans slammed CBS for cutting it off in the middle of one of the hitmaker’s most popular songs. 

CBS was broadcasting the 100th concert of Joel’s residency at Madison Square Garden. 

It was slightly delayed due to the network’s coverage of the Masters golf tournament, which caused the snafu later. 

Billy Joel fans were enraged when the CBS broadcast his concert cut off in the middle of his song “Piano Man.” Getty Images
Billy Joel was playing his 100th residency concert at MSG. Getty Images

Toward the end of the show, as Joel, 74, performed his 1973 hit “Piano Man,” with the MSG audience singing along, viewers in many cities saw their screens cut to black, followed by local news.

“Hey @CBS wtf is this?! You cut off @billyjoel during Pianoman of all songs?!  And then didn’t come back to it?!?!  Now wonder network TV is a mess. Not ballin, not ballin at all,” one fan posted on X, formerly Twitter. 

stream ‘billy joel: the 100th’ for free

Annoyed that “Billy Joel: The 100th Live at Madison Square Garden” got cut short during “Piano Man” last night? We get it. Luckily, the entire concert special is streaming on Paramount+.

Paramount+ offers a seven-day free trial for new users, so you’ll be able to watch “Piano Man” in full, plus the rest of the special whenever you want.

New York Post may be compensated and/or receive an affiliate commission if you buy through our links.

Another fan slammed the network, “You couldn’t produce a worse product than CBS just did on the Billy Joel special. Way too many commercials, didn’t play some of his best songs, went extremely out of order in his set list, and then cuts away to the local news in the middle of Piano Man?!? A total flop by CBS.” 

A third viewer marveled, “CBS has been promoting the Billy Joel concert special every two minutes for WEEKS. So what better way to air it than to preempt it for a half hour and the[n] cut him off MID-PIANO MAN? C’mon guys.”

“Someone royally screwed up,” one fan commented about the CBS broadcast on Sunday of Billy Joel’s concert. Getty Images
The broadcast abruptly cut to local news, enraging fans. CBS

“Wow. CBS cut off the Billy Joel concert special to start their affiliates’ local news broadcasts…In the middle of ‘Piano Man.’ Someone royally screwed up. That’s an embarrassment,” another viewer said.

Even the local news anchors got in on it, once they realized what happened. Rex Smith, an anchor at CBS affiliate WANE 15 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, posted, “I apologize to the people who were enjoying Billy Joel singing on TV then all of a sudden had to see my face. I’d have picked Billy Joel over me, too. I’m not even the Rex Smith who is the famous singer/actor.” 

Viewers at home were not feelin’ all right during “Piano Man.” CBS
Local news anchors even apologized. X/Rex Smith
“A total flop by CBS,” an outraged fan said. CBS

“As a man who grew up right next to Billy Joel’s hometown, who went to The Last Play at Shea, it was my duty to apologize to everyone about cutting off our telecast of Billy Joel tonight,” Evan Closky, sports director of 10 Tampa Bay in Florida, said on X

“Not to get into the weeds, but there was a special report after the Masters, and it wasn’t accounted for by the powers that be beyond this building.”

Despite the explanation, viewers were not having it. 

“CBS touts the Billy Joel concert endlessly for weeks. Then because the Masters ran over they start it 30 min late and cut off the end of the concert right in the middle of Piano Man. Are you F – – KING KIDDING???” another person fumed. 

When the Post reached out to CBS for comment, the network responded with the statement, “A network programming timing error ended last night’s Billy Joel special approximately two minutes early in the Eastern and Central Time Zones. We apologize to Mr. Joel, his fans, our affiliated stations, and our audience whose viewing experience was interrupted during the last song. Due to the overwhelming demand from his legion of fans, BILLY JOEL: THE 100TH – LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN will be rebroadcast in its entirety on CBS on April 19th at 9:00PM ET/PT.”

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