While my days in the coveted demographic for those that broadcast college football like Clemson Football have passed, I’m still a consumer of the product in the hundreds, or thousands, of hours each year.
It’s true that I wasn’t born with a phone in my hand or an iPad in my crib, but I like to think of myself as someone who’s adapted to the technological revolution fairly well.
That aside, I know this will sound like “Old man yells at cloud”.
Yet, when I hear about the future of live sports and streaming, I get excited. Until I have to actually attempt to watch games that are streamed.
Anyone who’s attempted to watch anything on the ACC Network and its various “extras” and offshoots knows what I’m talking about.
The experience generally sucks.
The sheer amount of hoop-jumping and remote control massaging needed to even find the game you want is enough to deter a fair amount of people.
No longer do you turn on the TV and turn to the channel and watch.
You turn on your TV and your Over The Top box of choice, navigate to the sports and…search for the game of choice, sometimes for a long time.
You likely will have to enter a username and password, sometimes multiple times for multiple reasons.
Sometimes you’ll need to scan a QR Code or perhaps go to a website on your phone to “authenticate” yourself. Or both.
What’s that? A buddy came over and you want to watch this same game out in the garage with the beer fridge, instead of in your house? “No problem.” Start the hoops over again and “authenticate” yourself 27 feet from where you authenticated yourself 15 minutes ago.
It’s amazing how Google knows what website I looked at 17 years ago for 11 seconds, but somehow can’t figure out to put “Clemson Tigers” front and foremost in my streaming preferences, as I scroll past the Air Forces, Abilene Christians, Baylor’s and Boston Colleges.
Half the time there are technical difficulties, whether it’s on my internet provider’s end or the broadcaster’s end.
This rarely happens with good old TV or cable.
It’s almost a given when streaming.
There are those that will say, “Yeah, but that’s the crappy ACC Network, we’re talking big money, well-financed corporations here.”
Maybe. But if Major League Baseball’s foray into AppleTV is an example, I wouldn’t hold your breath. My experience was the announcers were second rate (the “best” are still on terrestrial TV which should be a hint), the product second class and the inevitable “buffering” notification means more than once I was notified of a big play on my phone long before I saw it on the stream.
Imagine getting a “Buffering” notice when Deshaun Watson rolls right looking for Hunter Renfrow in Tampa.
This should all come to a head this fall, when the NFL takes its Sunday Ticket to Google TV.
Streaming may work for some programming, but terrestrial still works better for sports like Clemson Football
My son and I are casual NFL fans, but we sometimes like to meander through the games on Sundays to catch various action and various Clemson players in the NFL, changing the channel with one click of a button that never fails, and never buffers.
How’s that gonna work on streaming? Right now switching between two games that are streaming takes about 6 minutes, a 417-page manual and a teen (got one) to tell the old man what he’s doing wrong.
One of the joys of college football (when Clemson isn’t playing) is the experience of going game to game, sometimes play to play, catching as much action as possible.
In my experience, that’s not easy when everything is streamed.
Not to mention, my internet slows whenever the HOA does something ridiculous, which is about three times a week, and the neighborhood Facebook group gets up in arms.
Imagine if everyone in the neighborhood was streaming football simultaneously. I’m dead in the water.
In theory, streaming is “progress” and the thought of “watching any game, anywhere” is ever alluring, but it hasn’t worked out that way, at least not yet.
So, yeah, I am yelling at the clouds and saying the streaming experience is not ready for primetime.