Super Bowl OTT Feeds Don’t Go Off Glitch-Free

PlayStation Vue, Hulu run into tech issues during game 2/04/2018 11:11 PM Eastern
Screencap taken from NBC's app during Super Bowl LII

Again proving that the stability of OTT-delivered video is improving but not yet perfect, particularly during highly-watched, tent-pole events, events, tonight’s stream of Super Bowl LII did not go off completely glitch-free for some internet TV providers.

Two virtual MVPDs – Hulu and PlayStation Vue – faced some technical snafus during the game, as the Philadelphia Eagles held on to defeat defending champs, the New England Patriots, 41-33.

Dan Rayburn, an expert in the streaming media world and a consultant and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, noted via Twitter that Sony PlayStation Vue was hit with “major problems” Sunday night in multiple cities:

Another PlayStation Vue user lamented some issues during the early part of the game:

Hulu, which launched its live service last May, confirmed on Twitter that its service had experienced a “technical issue” toward the late part of the game, offering subs what it hoped to be a quick remedy:

Rayburn also tweeted about an issue that has dogged internet streaming of live TV since the get-go – latency that puts viewers well behind the regular broadcast. So if they are following the action on Twitter, they are learning about results before they see it on their “live” OTT feed:

DirecTV Now, AT&T’s OTT TV service, apparently tried to handle the streaming load in part by implementing a second NBC stream via the service’s programming guide, while also stressing that its app for smartphones would not provide access to the game (due to Verizon’s current smartphone exclusive with the NFL):

While NBC’s stream of Super Bowl LII appeared to perform solidly throughout the game, its regular TV broadcast induced a head-scratcher when the national feed went black temporarily during the second quarter, as the game was being sent to a commercial break (the blackout affected both OTT viewers and those who were watching NBC’s regular broadcast over-the-air or through a traditional MVPD).  

NBC chalked up the brief blackout to an “equipment failure” and claimed that viewers didn’t miss anything during that span:

YouTube TV, meanwhile, couldn't resist the opportunity to talk up its own ad during the big game: 

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