The Quality Of Streaming Is Very Strained

Dear me. Yesterday I subscribed to watching the Pro14 rugby competition on its new broadcaster in the UK, Premier Sports.

The experience has been, to say the least, sub-optimal.

The UI and apps look like they were developed by a college student a couple of decades ago. The design is very clunky, although everything works.

And they do offer all games live almost immediately, something that BT Sport should learn from. And they’re available for a week as part of a £9.99 monthly subs. That works out at around £0.80p a game if you watch them all, or more realistically around a fiver per game that you might want to watch. English Premiership games seem to take weeks to appear on BT Sports and by then their highlights packages have told you the results.

Fair enough, I can put up with the price and UI and the first game I watched on my iPad mini was fine. 

However, today I connected via my phone to my Chromecast on a 55” telly. The result was a stream that belonged in 1997. And I have no options. This is the only way to watch Welsh rugby now. (Just before I was watching Exeter v Leicester on BT Sport and the image quality was great).

Thankfully, this is one of the games also available via my aerial on S4C, so I was able to see something more than fuzzy shapes stuttering across my screen.

But I’m cancelling my subscription once the free period is over. You cannot seriously invest in sports rights and deliver a service like this in 2018.

I’ve blogged before about Prime and ITV’s quality issues and I think we’ve reached a watershed in terms if what is acceptable in terms of streaming quality. With so many companies like Netflix and the BBC offering high quality services consumers are likely to start voting with their (virtual) wallets.