By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I’ve had YouTube TV for several months and it normally does quite well with live sports. But when there’s a big event, like the NBA Finals this week, it sometimes screws the pooch. I couldn’t watch the end of the game during game five because the picture kept going out. My question is this: Are they up to doing the Sunday Ticket? I got the Ticket but I am worried. — Neal, Beauford, South Carolina. 

Neal, YouTube TV suffered a technical glitch during the end of Monday night’s game five of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. It’s unclear how many subscribers were affected, but some took to social media to say the game picture switched to a test pattern for about a minute.

The live streamer also experienced significant technical issues during a game in last month’s Miami Heat-Boston Celtics Eastern Conference final.

The two incidents have prompted some sports fans to express concern that Google, the owner of YouTube TV, is not ready to deliver a reliable stream for the NFL Sunday Ticket this fall. YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels will both offer the Ticket this season after it was an exclusive on DIRECTV for 28 years.

“If YouTube TV can’t handle one of the least-watched finals (also struggled earlier in the NBA playoffs) idk how they’re going to handle NFL Sunday Ticket and Redzone,” tweeted Allen Stiles, a sports radio host.

“YouTube TV glitched during what might be the most pivotal play of a title clinching NBA Finals game. Anyway, I’m sure your NFL Sunday Ticket packages will work just fine!” added Cody Pasby on Twitter.

The fact that a live streaming service had a technical malfunction during a live sporting event should not surprise anyone anymore. There have been so many over the years that it’s impossible to name them all. But there are arguably fewer than there were a few years ago.

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It should also be noted that DIRECTV’s first week of the 2022 NFL Sunday Ticket was marred when its streaming plan experienced widespread technical glitches. (The Ticket’s satellite signal did not have issues.) Despite recent improvements in live streaming technology, this is still a major problem.

The odds are good that Google will suffer some issues during the 2023 NFL Sunday Ticket season as well. Fans should expect that when deciding to order the package. But Google is certainly aware of the obstacles it faces and is working overtime to ensure the best experience possible.

It should also be noted that Google is not just some company. Google is one of the world’s premier technology companies. If it can’t provide a reliable live stream…

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— Phillip Swann