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Streaming TV needs to get better if it wants to attract more sports fans

Streaming TV needs to get better if it wants to attract more sports fans
[Photo: JC Gellidon/Unsplash]

Although cable and satellite TV continue to shed subscribers, not everyone’s thrilled with the idea of streaming live sports instead. A survey by Phenix and research firm YouGov found that sports viewers anticipate all sorts of problems with live streams:

  • 72% expect the stream to lag behind traditional broadcast.
  • 64% expect buffering.
  • 42% expect delays.
  • 32% expect poor picture quality.
  • 30% expect service outages.
  • 63% of sports watchers say they’d hesitate to sign up or re-subscribe to a live streaming service, perhaps as a result of all the above.

(Note: Phenix is in the business of selling low-latency streaming tech to video providers, so it’s in the company’s interest to call out pain points.)

Still, executives in the streaming business have acknowledged that video quality in general–and latency in particular–are major issues that need solving. And Phenix doesn’t have the only solution; giants like Akamai and smaller streaming tech firms like Wowza are all trying to bridge the quality gap between cable and streaming for live events, and a sports-centric streaming bundle called Fubo TV has made low-latency video one of its standout features. All of which means sports fans’ anxieties about streaming should fade before too long.JN