Monday was a celebration of NBC retaining the Premier League for another six years. Unfortunately, Saturday was a morning of frustration when those either looking for a second screen experience (as I was doing) or trying to follow the second-halves of games were completely blacked out of NBC Sports Live Extra.
Beginning in the second half of the 10am-Noon ET games, the streams of the Premier League matches on NBC Sports Live Extra would completely stop, then pick up again approximately 30-60 seconds later, and then stop again. And then repeated the same issue until all of the streams stopped to a complete halt and were replaced with a ‘Coverage will resume shortly’ on-screen graphic. Sadly, the graphics remained on-screen for the remainder of the second half.
The issue affected all platforms as Apple TV, Roku, desktop as well as NBC’s apps for Android, iPhone and iPad. My personal experience was losing the second half of Swansea City’s 2-0 victory against Newcastle United.
Fortunately for NBC, the fall-out of the NBC Sports Live Extra issues wasn’t as severe as what it could have been especially if one of the top four clubs was being streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra. Instead, the frustrations were experienced by supporters of clubs such as Newcastle, Swansea, Watford, WBA, Sunderland, Norwich, West Ham, Leicester, Spurs and Stoke. But that’s no excuse.
One of the biggest issues with the whole situation was that it took NBC Sports approximately 30-35 minutes to inform the public they were aware of the issue and working to fix it (see tweet below).
We are currently aware of issues with Live Extra and we are working diligently to fix the issue. We apologize for the inconvenience.
— NBC Sports LiveExtra (@LiveExtra) August 15, 2015
The Live Extra team should have communicated the problem to the social media people faster than they did. The silence, as people were trying to communicate with NBC Live Extra’s Twitter account, felt deafening to some and outrageous to others.
Sunday coverage wasn’t much better as the same outages that plagued Saturday’s NBC Live Extra’s coverage were mentioned on Twitter.
In comparison, FOX Sports was, in the past, able to acknowledge a problem in a matter of minutes and resolve it even quicker when they held the Premier League rights. At least that was forgivable. NBC’s silence here was not.
NBC knows how much bandwidth is needed to ensure they can get through all events streaming at any given time and have enough available to cover at least 3 times that amount of people.
NBC Live Extra needs to continue to get better. Hopefully this is the only time we speak of these issues over the course of NBC’s time with the Premier League. However if it is not, I hope they learn to acknowledge the problem sooner instead of ignoring a public hungry for their otherwise excellent coverage of the Premier League.
Photo credit: @prezbegone
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