As the NFL looks to the future and live streaming for its games, one could say that online streaming still has a long way to go before it catches up to TV. On Sunday, Verizon used several platforms to maximize the viewership for the Baltimore Ravens-Jacksonville Jaguars game from London, but it didn’t seem to matter to some trying to watch it online. The quality of the stream suffered lags, seemed blurry at times, and in some extreme cases, didn’t show up at all.

Verizon, which won the rights to the game earlier this year, decided to stream the game on AOL, go90, Tumblr, Yahoo Sports, and other sites, as well as on streaming media devices like Amazon Fire, Android TV devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Xbox.

While the game was aired on TV in Baltimore and Jacksonville, Verizon streamed the game around the world in hopes that it could attract a large audience. Instead, it got complaints.

The problems didn’t affect everyone, as some found the stream rather seamless, but the exclusive online game still experienced problems. And with Amazon ready to begin its Thursday Night Football streaming this week, the Verizon/Yahoo experience certainly didn’t do it any favors with its difficulties.

While Amazon will have its own safeguards in place to prevent the problems that plagued Verizon/Yahoo on Sunday, people could still be complacent in visiting Amazon Video. The main takeaway from Sunday is that live streaming still has a way to go before reaching critical mass.

[Multichannel]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • PAI

    Wonder why, as a FIOS customer, I wasn’t allowed to watch it on some special channel thru my cable TV box. It’s all Verizon, right?

  • Rob Hoffmann

    If my experience is in any way useful — the stream itself was fine on my computer. However, casting it to my Chromecast was a disaster. The cast was plagued with stuttering and stoppages. I’m willing to blame my WiFi, but it could also be an inherent Chromecast issue…

  • Baltimore fans were especially upset that the stream didn’t actually show any good play by the Ravens.

  • Scott Simons

    I tried to stream through a hotel WiFi for a few minutes. Go90 and YahooSports didn’t work for me right away. I could have tried a lot harder, but I am not a fan of either team. I just wanted to watch some live sports as my wife slept. I quickly went to other (easier) viewing options.

    This is a problem with streaming for me. It is easy for the casual fan to say, “Not worth my time,” and move on. The NFL and other sports leagues need to put a priority on making the streams as easily accessible as turning on the TV. If not, the number of viewers will erode.