Yahoo’s free live stream of Sunday’s NFL matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars proved to be a less-than-perfect experience for some consumers who were trying to watch the game on various platforms.
Yahoo carried the game, which kicked off at 9:30 a.m. ET from Wembley Stadium in London, on a wide range of platforms, including web browsers, TV-connected devices (Apple TV, Roku players and Roku TVs, Fire TV devices, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, Android TV devices, and Vizio and Samsung smart TVs. It’s also being carried on iOS and Android mobile devices via several apps, including Yahoo Sports, Tumblr, AOL and go90, among others, and has been optimized for the Google Chromecast streaming adapter.
Jacksonville blew out the Ravens, 44-7.
Streaming issues didn’t appear to be widespread (the author was able to view it with no problem on a laptop as well as mobile web on an iPad), but several users were logging complaints about problems on Sunday morning via Twitter – another indication that live streaming of big events at scale remains a key struggle.
Among complaints, Andy Ross, an NFL agent, said the stream was “very blurry” for him, and urged Yahoo to make a half-time adjustment:
— Andy Ross (@adross77) September 24, 2017
Phillip Swan, publisher of TVAnswerman.com and a regular critic of live TV streaming, was following along and retweeting issues that other consumers were posting on Twitter, and offered this conclusion:
When you sit down for an NFL game, you shouldn't have to worry if the picture will go awry. #nflstream
— Swanni (@SwanniOnTV) September 24, 2017
Meanwhile, the Yahoo Fantasy Care (@YahooFantasyCC) Twitter handle, was busy responding to customer issues on Sunday morning. Here’s a sampling of those complaints:
@YahooFantasyCC Why can’t I use chromecast to watch the game? Using the iOS app.
— Lucas Wiseman (@Lucas_Wiseman) September 24, 2017
Yahoo Fantasy Care suggested that the viewer might need to close the app and reload it, or reset Chromecast to reestablish the connection.
— Mike Walpole (@walpeezy) September 24, 2017
In response, Yahoo Fantasy Care asked if the viewer had closed the app entirely and cleared the app cache.
Other complaints that cropped up on Twitter:
@YahooFantasyCC streaming issues on Fios. Constant pauses and buffering.
— Richard Repas (@RichRepas) September 24, 2017
Both on safari and on the roku app ! Still having issues. Commentary was talking about River Thames, video was still on the punt.
— Frank mcgill (@fm___) September 24, 2017
@YahooSports app not working well on Apple TV. Interruptions in the stream, window keeps shrinking to small size in large screen tv. Awful.
— Robert Brosseau (@Bob_Brosseau) September 24, 2017