ESPN: Yes, We’re Having World Cup Streaming Problems — Because Everyone Is Streaming the World Cup.
ESPN Screen Shot by Re/code
It’s not just you: Lots of people are trying to stream ESPN’s coverage of the U.S.-Germany game. That has caused some issues, the sports giant now admits.
Here’s a terse statement from the cable giant: “First half peaked at more than 1.4 million peak concurrent viewers on WatchESPN, a record. Investigating some limited issues due to unprecedented demand.”
For context: During the Winter Olympics, NBCUniversal* reached a peak of 850,000 concurrent viewers when it streamed the US/Russia Hockey game. Additional context: There are a lot of potential failure points between ESPN’s stream and your phone, tablet or PC. Sorting out who is responsible for what isn’t straightforward — ask Netflix, Verizon and Comcast, for instance.
ESPN’s WatchESPN service is only available to pay TV customers whose pay TV providers have a deal with ESPN. If you’re looking for an alternate method, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has the game online and doesn’t require a subscription.
Then again, perhaps demand will fall off a bit now that Germans have gone ahead.
Update: No such luck — there are now 1.7 million people watching online, says ESPN.
*NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Re/code.