TV coverage of Ozzy Osbourne’s latest comeback appearance amounted to just seconds of his set, upsetting US viewers.
The Prince of Darkness took to the pitch at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood at half-time in the game between Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills on Thursday (September 8), as the two teams contested the NFL season opener.
The performance followed on from Osbourne’s surprise turn at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in his native Birmingham last month, which came just weeks after he had undergone major neck surgery.
However, those watching Stateside on NBC saw just seconds of his performance of the title track from new album Patient Number 9, before the cameras returned to the pitch-side studio, where broadcaster Maria Taylor led half-time analysis of the game.
The decision met with an outraged response from Osbourne’s fans on social media. “The NFL and NBC need to immediately apologize to both Ozzy & the millions watching for not showing his halftime performance,” said Twitter user @Adam__William. “No excuses!”
“Wtf was that?” asked another tweeter, @Lettuce_505. “You say ‘here’s Ozzy Osbourne” cut to him for 5 seconds then back to the half time recap no one cares about? Thanks NBC.”
Fan-shot footage of the performance also surfaced on social media; you can see Osbourne playing ‘Crazy Train’ above as the second track in a quick-fire two-song set. The following day (September 9), Osbourne released Patient Number 9, his 13th solo studio album. It features guest turns from Jeff Beck, Zakk Wylde, Eric Clapton, Dave Navarro, Mike McCready and, most poignantly, Tony Iommi, his long-time Black Sabbath bandmate.
The record arrives ahead of Osbourne’s permanent return to the UK after 24 years of living in Los Angeles; in a recent interview with The Guardian, he cited the prevalence of gun violence and the polarised political climate in the US as among the driving factors behind his decision to relocate.
In the same interview, Osbourne reiterated his desire to return to the road, with his ‘No More Tours 2’ UK arena run, delayed several times since February of 2019, now in the diary for the summer of 2023.