Football

Streaming viewers for Monday’s Alabama-Clemson game again plagued with issues

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence throws during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence throws during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. AP Photo

Buoyed by the thought of cutting their cable bills, more and more U.S. customers are ditching satellite and cable for streaming TV options, basically watching TV over the internet.

Often, they switch to providers like DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue or Sling TV, services that offer a package of channels similar to cable but at a cheaper cost. Users simply add an app to their compatible televisions or streaming boxes (Apple TV, Firestick, etc) and, viola’, there is cheaper TV. The average cable TV bill is more than $100. It’s easy to have a streaming bill that is at least half of that.

But at times when most of the country is watching the same thing, like Monday’s Alabama-Clemson game, the streaming company’s servers can get badly overloaded.

It happened last year during the Alabama-Clemson semifinal and it was happening again during the teams’ national final Monday night. Many viewers, in the Caroinas and nationwide, were faced with blocky pictures, stuttering video or simply no picture at all.

Some users couldn’t even get the guide to come on their screen to switch to the game. There were also many reports of the Watch ESPN standalone app facing similar issues. But the problems seemed worse, based on social media reports we saw, on DirecTV Now than the other services.

DirecTV is the second most popular streaming service with 1.4 million subscribers behind Sling TV which has more than two million.

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