The battle to stream Thursday night football on Prime Video continues

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Amazon Prime Video executives said this week that they’re “very hopeful” it will Problems with Thursday Night Football broadcast “will be less and less of a thing.” Looks like we’ll all have to try again in week 4.

The Sept. 22 game between AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland was riddled with lingering broadcast issues that left the resolution down and pixelated — in other words, looking bad — before returning to normal. Then it will be good for a while before dropping out again. And the problem wasn’t limited to just streaming the game — the ads would also look bad, which was at least a little ironic given the vast amount of space available for Amazon Web Services.

It’s … not high definition. Or even medium definition.

It’s the kind of thing that’s hard to pin down, and sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s really a thing because there are countless variables that go into it. Of course, there’s the video stream at the source, and then how it travels across regions before finally reaching your home network. And another question about what device you’re watching on. This is as much anecdote as it is science.

For example, I watched Prime Video on an Apple TV connected via Ethernet to the Eero Pro 6, all powered by a gigabit fiber connection from AT&T. (And that fiber speed is consistently in the 800Mbps-plus range.) And my resolution was fine—until it wasn’t. It came and went, and the inconsistency was perhaps the worst part.

I was not alone.

@philnickinson #tnf completely opaque. 104Mbps on my device and I’m stuck between video skipping or spin of death. Just awful. We need the next story

— Gabriel del Rio (@gdelrio) September 23, 2022

Absolutely invisible. It was almost okay for a few minutes in the first quarter, but still too many frame rate issues. How is this not bigger national news? Who likes watching this game?! Tried FireStick and RokuUltra.

— B (@diplodink) September 23, 2022

The Steelers-Browns game was the second game produced and streamed end-to-end by Amazon. In 2021, he broadcast the games but was not in charge of the production at all, instead supporting Fox. The games were also available on the NFL Network. This year, it’s Amazon all the time. (The games are also broadcast on NFL+.)

That much is evident given the reaction of Thursday Night Football executives to Sports Media Podcast with Richard Dyche that Amazon knew about the Week 2 struggle.

Hopefully they will be fixed in time for the Miami Dolphins at the Cincinnati Bengals on September 29th.

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The battle to stream Thursday night football on Prime Video continues

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