The NFL could be flirting with a new-age Heidi situation.
On Wednesday night, technical issues marred the final minutes of YouTube TV’s TNT stream of the Heat-Celtics NBA playoff game. Via SI.com, the game went to commercial with a little more than four minutes remaining and “the stream just lost it.”
“Many fans saw the same ad starting and stopping for what felt like an endless amount of time, and it never came back for the rest of the game,” writes Andy Nesbitt of SI.com.
Apparently, it was a commercial for the new live-action version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
YouTube TV acknowledged the existence of a problem: “If you have an issue watching the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics game on TNT, we’re aware of it & our team is working on a fix — thx so much for your patience!”
With Sunday Ticket moving to YouTube TV this season, fans are understandably skittish about the potential technical issues with the shift from DirecTV, which had more than its fair share of Sunday Ticket-related technical issues.
The folks behind the Sports TV Ratings account on Twitter believe last night’s glitch happened because TNT was using “dynamic ad insertion” with YouTube TV, something broadcast affiliates don’t use.
The key word to add to this is “yet.” In order to make back their massive investment in Sunday Ticket, YouTube undoubtedly will be exploring any and all strategies to enhance revenue, both from customers and from advertisers.
The good news for NFL fans is that last night’s situation gives the NFL good cause to insist that YouTube TV confirm, re-confirm, and re-confirm again that things will work smoothly when the time comes to stream the full package of out-of-market games.