Just when fans were starting to show red cards and roll around on the turf in agony, the service came back on line, with apologies for the interruption. Here is the company’s latest tweet:
Earlier, the “skinny bundle” service tweeted to subscribers, which number in the 750,000 range in 99 U.S. markets and who pay $40 a month, after their feed went out during the intense game today.
The Google-owned service went down in the middle of the second half in Moscow. The winner of the match goes to Sunday’s World Cup final against France.
The YouTube TV service features access to Fox Sports, which has rights to the World Cup. It has made live sports a cornerstone of its offering, shelling out significant dollars for top-tier marketing partnerships with major sports leagues. For many pitches of last fall’s World Series and many jump shots during last spring’s NBA playoffs, the red YouTube TV logo was prominently featured.
Today’s match was not the first time or the first virtual service to report outages amid high-trafficked events. With cord-shaving becoming more and more common, popular broadcasts send digital numbers soaring, sometimes overwhelming the capabilities of the internet-delivered services. HBO Now (the stand-alone service) and HBO Go (the authenticated service for pay-TV subscribers) reported outages in 2016 and 2017 during broadcasts of Game of Thrones and Sling TV went dark for a portion of its subscriber base during the Final Four in April.
Phillip Swann, publisher of TVAnswerMan.com, is a vocal critic of skinny bundles given their history of service interruptions. He didn’t miss today’s opportunity to weigh in, offering a succinct but jaundiced tweet in reply to YouTube TV’s mea culpa: “The joys of live streaming.”