By Phillip Swann

The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I am a Sunday Ticket subscriber, and I couldn’t watch any game last Sunday without buffering. Do you know if YouTube has fixed this problem? Will it happen again on Sunday? — Jamal, Sacramento, California.
Jamal, YouTube last Sunday suffered its first widespread technical meltdown during the NFL Sunday Ticket with a large number of subscribers protesting on social media that they couldn’t tune to a game without first seeing a spinning wheel or black screen for 20 seconds or more.

YouTube’s X customer service team acknowledged the issue during the games, but it never provided an update saying the problem had been fixed. The streamer’s last word on the tech troubles came early Monday morning when it suggested the buffering was affecting all YouTube services, not just the Ticket: “If you’re experiencing buffering issues on YouTube, we’re aware of the issue, working on a fix rn,” the streamer said Monday in response to customer complaints.

But Lori Conkling, YouTube’s global chief for sports partnerships, said Thursday at the Sports Business Journal Media Innovators conference that the technical glitches had been fixed. “People can have confidence in this Sunday, but it is top of mind for us that we are responsible for delivering the exceptional experience that we have promised to our viewers,” Conkling told the group. “So we take that very seriously, and we have done everything possible to ensure it does not happen again.”

You can see a video of Conkling’s remarks here:

Of course, streaming companies have said before that technical issues have been resolved only for them to resurface soon after. (Just ask the Bally Sports subscribers.) But Conkling does sound confident, for what that’s worth.

By the way, Conkling did not address subscriber calls for a refund for last Sunday’s issues. It would appear that YouTube will not issue credits for the glitches although DIRECTV did so last year when it had the Ticket’s rights.

Jamal, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than three decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

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