With 10 minutes to go before the first bounce of the AFL Grand Final, something was amiss to many viewers at the Merimbula Lakeview Hotel. There was no coverage.
An underground cable fault disrupted the free-to-air signal across parts of Merimbula and Tura Beach, much to the horror of football fans packed into pubs and clubs.
But quick-thinking Traralgon resident Paige Beddard ensured no one would miss out on the action.
“We were watching the pre-game entertainment on Fox Footy and I was following the running sheet online because I wanted to watch The Killers play, but it turned out Fox was only televising what was happening outside the arena,” Ms Beddard said.
“Then the bartenders said they couldn’t get Channel 7 and a couple guys in front of us were trying to stream it unsuccessfully, so I thought, ‘stuff it’, I’ll link it to the big screen from my AFL app and it worked.”
Ms Beddard was visiting Merimbula for the first time in 20 years to celebrate her fifth-year anniversary with partner, Jackson.
Their opportune visit to the Lakeview turned the couple into local celebrities as punters cheered their tech-savvy response to the problem.
“We really did just come here for the $20 jugs, but then a guy bought me a beer and the bartenders said the drinks were free for the rest of the day,” Ms Beddard said.
Despite the odd Snapchat notification popping up on the big screen, much to the delight of the crowd, Ms Beddard said she was too afraid to touch her phone and lose the signal.
She took the high praise in her stride, saying she truly did feel like a local hero.