YouTube NFL outage: Should Google give refunds or credits?

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An correction connection for nan NFL connected YouTube and YouTube TVThe correction connection seen connected October 29, 2023, alerting NFL fans to what they already knew — games weren’t streaming well. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The bully news is we — by which I mean Google, YouTube, and YouTube TV — made it halfway done nan play without immoderate existent benignant of awesome method hiccup arsenic nan exclusive location of NFL Sunday Ticket. But connected October 29, successful nan heavy of Week 8 (out of 17), problems did arise.

It was evident reasonably early into Sunday’s 1 p.m. games that thing was amiss. Buffering problems abounded. Lag was a existent thing. Resolution and bitrate dropped to unacceptable levels. And Google, for its part, noted nan issues on societal media, arsenic good arsenic on a thief page. “If you’re experiencing buffering issues connected YouTube our squad is alert and moving connected a fix,” nan connection said connected Twitter. “YouTube TV aliases NFL Sunday Ticket whitethorn besides beryllium impacted. We’ll travel up present erstwhile this has been resolved.”

A time later, nan connection (which didn’t see that past sentence) was removed from nan thief page. And it didn’t look that nan @TeamYouTube Twitter relationship ever really followed up. (Note to Google and YouTube: It’s astir apt clip to person a beingness connected Threads.) But plentifulness of unhappy subscribers followed up connected their own, asking if location would beryllium immoderate benignant of refund aliases in installments for nan outage. And to beryllium clear, it wasn’t a full outage. Just awesome issues.

Crediting subscribers for an outage isn’t unheard of. YouTube TV successful 2018 issued credits for an outage during a semifinal crippled successful nan FIFA Men’s World Cup, pinch subscribers getting astir $10 disconnected their adjacent bill.

That benignant of strategy is simply a small much analyzable this clip around. For one, it didn’t look that nan outage was constricted to NFL Sunday Ticket, which requires a premium subscription of respective 100 dollars a year. Those who only subscribe to YouTube TV and were receiving broadcast games besides were affected, and it wasn’t conscionable a azygous crippled that was unwatchable. (And things appeared to person settled down by nan evening’s game.)

So what’s that worth? Another $10 aliases truthful disconnected your adjacent measure for YouTube TV subscribers? Or should NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers get in installments for 1 afloat Sunday? Depending connected what you paid, that could beryllium anyplace from astir $17, each nan measurement to $29. Certainly, cipher who struggled to watch a crippled would move down a spot of free money. But you tin understand Google not being successful a unreserved to effort to fig retired who it owes what.

And it’s worthy noting that it doesn’t look that Google is really required to do anything. A speedy travel done nan NFL Sunday Ticket terms and conditions beautiful overmuch spells retired that you salary for nan service, and that’s that. No clauses for compensation for an outage. “Payments for NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions are non-refundable, successful full and/or successful part,” it reads. “Once your costs method has been charged for a season, you will not beryllium capable to get a refund for that season.”

Google should connection an apology astatine nan very least. Streaming problems will, unfortunately, hap connected occasion. Even if compensation isn’t successful order, an mentation surely is. We’ve reached retired to Google to spot if there’s immoderate connection connected what happened, and if immoderate compensation is coming.

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Phil Nickinson

Phil spent nan 2000s making newspapers pinch nan Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, nan 2010s pinch Android Central and past the…

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