Yahoo’s first attempt at live streaming of an NFL game was about as exciting as the game it chose to stream – a relatively boring first half followed by an exciting nail biting finish.
The game, which was played between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills at the headquarters of English soccer, London’s Wembley Stadium, ended with a win to the Bills.
Like the game itself, the live stream was generally terrible for the first half – stream freezing and jumping every few minutes, almost mirroring the flow of the game. The stream was one sided with heavy technical faults as was the game with the Bills taking the half 27-10.
The glitches were sorted out by the time the second half began and the stream was steady as it should have been, as was the play of the Jaguars who held the Bills 0-0 in the third quarter, and then gave viewers a nail biting 18-7 final quarter, going down by just three points, 34-31
Sports fans and live stream experts say that while they didn’t expect perfection in Yahoo’s first attempt at an NFL live stream, there were still too many instances of a pixelated or blurry screen.
Most of the Twitter comments on the live stream showed the problems were common and widespread throughout the U.S., being the result of the broadcast and not viewers’ internet connections.
Those who accessed the game on a Roku 3 seemed to have had fewer problems, compared to those viewing the stream online, but that may have been because the Roku stream was a minute behind the internet stream.
A review of Twitter shows a clear pattern – viewers on a streaming devices such as Apple TV, iPad, Roku or iPhone had more of a positive experience with a clear picture, and less broadcast delays, while those viewing the game in a web browser online, using a computer, had the worst viewing experience, at least for 3/4’s of the game.
Yahoo, which paid the $20 million to the NFL for the rights for the internet broadcast rights, has not yet commented on the broadcast or how much money they made or lost on the deal. Many of the commercial spots reportedly were sold for much less than the $200,000 Yahoo was originally asking for a 30 second spot.