NBC Sports Gold crashes, causing havoc for Premier League coverage

NBC Sports Gold suffered its worst outage of the season today when the Premier League Pass paid-subscription service crashed, causing soccer fans across the United States to miss valuable minutes of seeing their team in action. As a result, soccer fans stormed to social media to vent their anger at NBC Sports.

Last weekend, NBC Sports suffered a similar outage that caused Liverpool fans to miss precious minutes of their game against Burnley, which was only available on NBC Sports Gold. And with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all playing during the same 10am-Noon ET window today, NBC Sports Gold crashed again when paying subscribers tried to watch Southampton against Manchester United, which was only available via the Premier League Pass service.

The flaws in NBC Sports Gold have been apparent from the early days of the Premier League season. Complaints about log-in errors and the platform crashing were at first isolated and then more widespread when Spurs hosted Burnley in a Sunday clash on August 27. That match was the first big test for the product with a top six side being shown via the online-only pay product rather than on NBC, NBCSN or CNBC. Every new product has its bugs initially, but our patience has run out after today’s debacle, six gameweeks into the season.

Within minutes of today’s 10am-Noon ET kickoff of Premier League games, Twitter exploded. Initially, I cautioned angry viewers that perhaps the first few minutes of the match were experiencing some technical issues but that it would likely be sorted quickly. But by minute 15 of the Southampton-Manchester United game, it was apparent a massive glitch had occurred at the very worst time for NBC Sports.

One NBC Sports Gold subscriber received this message in the first half of today’s match when trying to log-in to watch Southampton-Manchester United:

“This is a server-side error delivered by your content provider, not a Flash Player issue, although we or the browser may have cached a bad token or something that’s causing the problem to persist beyond the window in which the problem occurred. Given that it’s happening on multiple devices, it’s more likely that you’re going to have to talk to your cable provider.

“You can try accessing the page in private browsing mode to see if it works there. That gets you around any data that might have otherwise been cached. If it works there, you can try going to Control Panel > Flash Player > Advanced > Delete All, and/or clearing your browser’s cache and cookies.

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