When you’re watching a crucial sports clash live online or on TV, the last you thing you want is for the screen to go blank.
But that’s precisely what happened for soccer fans using YouTube TV to livestream the recent World Cup semi-final clash between England and Croatia.
Midway through the crucial knockout game, YouTube’s coverage failed, leaving millions of people scrambling to find another way to catch the rest of the game.
Keen to make up for the outage, YouTube has decided to offer subscribers at least a week’s worth of free service, Android Authority reported. It also also said that at least some of those who complained directly to customer service were told they would receive a month’s worth of credit.
YouTube TV recently raised its monthly subscription to $40, so those receiving a week’s worth of credit can expect to save around $10.
In a tweet during the game, which Croatia won 2-1 after extra-time, the streaming giant offered “sincere apologies” for the outage and admitted that the timing was “horrible.” It added it was working to get back online “ASAP.”
Many of the commenters were understandably frustrated, with one writing: “A service is only as good as it can stay up and running. No point in paying for a service that fails during a big game.”
YouTube TV followed up with an email to its customers, apologizing again, saying, “We love our TV as much as you do, and our goal is to make sure that you can access your favorite TV whenever and however you want.”
It added that subscribers who had been recording the game should now be able to access it via the service’s Library tab. Finally, it promised to email customers to confirm their account had been credited in a bid to “help make this right.”
With the World Cup Final between France and Croatia just a few hours away, YouTube TV customers may be wondering whether to risk using the same service to watch that contest, or perhaps turn to an alternative platform for the big game. Either way, another outage during one of the most-watched soccer games in the last four years would be something of a PR nightmare for YouTube TV, and one that would likely result in it having to offer more than just a $10 credit.
YouTube TV launched in 2017 and offers more than 50 channels at $40 per month for new subscribers. The livestreaming TV service goes up against the likes of Hulu, DirecTV Now, and Sling TV. For more details on all the available services, take a moment to check out our handy guide.