Were you hoping to watch the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl using the WatchESPN app and kept getting “sorry, this video isn’t available right now” errors? You’re not alone. The WatchESPN errors during Rose Bowl broadcasts lasted until about halftime, while the Sugar Bowl is continuing to have blackout-like problems into the fourth quarter.
For all the exclusive deals ESPN paid for and secured to broadcast the first-ever College Football Playoff, this is a live-streaming meltdown of epic proportions.
The WatchESPN app errors didn’t begin until the coin toss of the Rose Bowl, after college football fans had watched literally dozens of hours of bowl games via ESPN’s streaming service.
The Sporting News and other outlets reported the WatchESPN outage as it happened during the Rose Bowl. According to the Jacksonville (Florida) Times-Union, “ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz says the network is aware of the issues and is working to resolve them as soon as possible. He says they are sorry for the inconvenience.”
Of course they’re sorry. Not as sorry as the tens of thousands of Oregon Ducks and Florida State fans who wanted to watch the Rose Bowl on their Xbox, PlayStation, tablet or smartphone.
The blackout-like problems persisted until approximately halftime, at which point fans could see Oregon’s rout of FSU really get underway. Yet the WatchESPN errors during Rose Bowl broadcasts were followed-up by outages during the Alabama – Ohio State game.
Amazingly, as of 11:40 EST / 8:40 PST — just into the fourth quarter of a surprisingly competitive Sugar Bowl — the bowl game’s live stream is still unavailable on Xbox One.
Though the Sugar Bowl broadcast is still available on the WatchESPN website on a computer, the app-based options (console, tablet, smartphone, etc.) appear to be hit-and-miss at best, and flat-out non-functional at worst.
While the game broadcats on terrestrial ESPN stations are still going strong, many people are are trying to stream the College Football Playoff semifinals have been left frustrated, confused and in some cases irate. As one of the many fans who geared-up specifically to stream the CFB Playoffs using the WatchESPN app, I can tell you these errors had better be fixed for the National Championship Game on January 12. If not, ESPN will have some serious explaining to do. The only thing ESPN’s “the worldwide leader” in so far for these inaugural Playoffs is fan frustration.