Advanced Television

Prime US Open up to 44 secs behind broadcast

September 7, 2018

Phenix, the video solutions provider, has revealed that Amazon Prime’s US Open coverage in the UK is running up to 44 seconds behind the live TV coverage in the US. The global testing team also found that two devices using the same WiFi connection were 32 seconds out of sync, despite being in the same room.

Alongside the latency testing, Phenix also polled British sports fans and found that 53 per cent would prefer to watch the US Open and other tennis Grand Slams on terrestrial TV, with only 6 per cent saying they would consider watching on Netflix or Amazon either now or in the future. The research also highlighted that 59 per cent of Brits are frustrated if they overhear the score in a game they are watching due to a delay in their live stream.

Consumer confidence in live sports video streaming appears to be low with 23% of tennis fans willing to resort to radio coverage if the quality of a video live stream was too poor and 16% don’t think the delays and buffering associated with streaming are worth the hassle. The quality needs to be high right from the beginning as 21% of Brits would stop watching a live stream in the first minute if the experience was poor.

Jed Corenthal, Chief Marketing Officer of Phenix commented: “British consumers are not asking for much, just that when they are watching a live sports event like the US Open the action is high quality, not constantly freezing or buffering, and that it is actually live, and not delayed by almost 45 seconds. We were surprised when one of our testers was unable to get the Amazon live stream to work at all on his smart TV at all. Tennis fans are rightly irritated that the best Amazon can offer is still a step down from the coverage they are used to from terrestrial and subscription TV packages. Many will be put off by the experience, especially if the feed on their TV is 30 seconds behind the feed on their phone. This delay has implications for in-game betting as well as fans potentially receiving a game ruining message from a friend with a different stream.”

“This is not an insurmountable problem, live trivia apps have shown that tens of thousands of people can not only receive a real-time broadcast with under 0.5 seconds of latency, but that the experience can also be interactive too. For today’s streaming providers to be taken seriously by sports fans around the world, they need to use the most up-to-date technology and provide a viewing experience which goes beyond what regular TV can do,” Corenthal concluded.

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