Beginning this season, NFL Sunday Ticket will be moving from DirecTV to YouTube TV. While this move has the potential to bring more NFL games to more viewers and cord-cutters, there are some concerns about the lengthy delay between live action and the online broadcast that often occurs with streaming. YouTube TV has recently responded to the issue of latency – or at least acknowledged that those concerns exist.
In a email to Pro Football Talk on Wednesday, a YouTube TV spokesperson responded to a question about potential latency for NFL Sunday Ticket by promising a “high-quality Sunday Ticket experience.”
“The YouTube TV team is working on building a high-quality Sunday Ticket experience,” the spokesperson told Pro Football Talk. “Overall, YouTube TV is built on the infrastructure that powers YouTube and reliably serves billions of playback every day. Users can check their Live Latency in ‘Stats For Nerds’ directly in the YouTube TV app. We’re always working to find the right tradeoff between latency, buffering and quality.”
It’s worth noting that this statement doesn’t actually provide any assurance that latency won’t be a problem this upcoming NFL season. In fact, it acknowledges that latency is indeed a challenge that comes with the streaming service. And if YouTube TV’s broadcast of the Super Bowl is any indication, that delay could be lengthy as the streaming service was a full 54 seconds behind the live action.
YouTube TV was 54 seconds behind real-time for the last Super Bowl ?
not sure the delay for a regular Sunday afternoon during next NFL season with Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV but likely more than it was with DirecTV (with dish, latency of ~ 24-30 seconds) pic.twitter.com/gCGONS21Sn
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 11, 2023
While latency may not be an issue for many viewers, it will make in-game betting difficult for sports gamblers and could cause frustration to those who like to follow along with the game on social media as viewers will see tweets from reporters at the game and even those watching the game on regional broadcasts long before the action actually shows up on their device or television.
While it’s one thing to have a lengthy delay on games included in YouTube TV’s base package, it’s another thing entirely to have latency issues on a premium product that is in many cases more expensive than DirecTV offered in the past, espeically since DirecTV had no issues with latency.