UPDATE Sept 13: There's been a twist in the tale about problems with Sky TV's Fanpass service during Saturday's test — at least for the social media posters who said they couldn't wait for Amazon to win All Blacks rights then do a better job (see below).
Fanpass is managed by NeuLion, and a Sky TV insider confirms that NeuLion hosts Fanpass at an Amazon Web Services (AWS) across the ditch.
A cable cut in Sydney on Saturday saw packet loss (performance degradation) for multiple sites and services hosted by AWS, including Fanpass and Spark's Lightbox (also hit by AWS problems in June last year).
In short, the problems with Fanpass during the All Blacks vs Los Pumas were Amazon's fault.
It will be of some satisfaction for Sky TV to get that news out there, and the technically literate will appreciate the irony. But it probably won't cut any ice with Fanpass punters.
— Paul Conder (@peecee65) September 9, 2017
— Greg Hirst (@Gregwithoneg) September 9, 2017
EARLIER / Sept 12: As the All Blacks prevailed against Los Pumas on Saturday night, Sky TV took a beating on social media.
A number of users of Sky’s online Fanpass service took to Twitter to complain the stream was dropping out or looking pixelated.
“#Fanpass is like watching Lego men running around, so pixelated,” tweeted Louis Reinecke in one of the few posts that used family-friendly language.
Sky TV corporate communications director Kirsty Way says an investigation found “Fanpass buffered for an extended period of time for a small number of customers.”
Buffering is the process where some video is downloaded and stored locally to (if everything is working correctly) help the stream “get ahead” and play smoothly.
Ms Way reiterates that, unlike the inhouse-developed Sky Go, Fanpass is outsourced to the New York-based NeuLion, which also handles streaming platforms for major US sports, including NFL Pass and NHL Pass.
“The issue was ‘upstream’ – outside of Sky’s operations – on Saturday night and, not being in a position to fix it ourselves, we worked with suppliers over Saturday night to resolve it. No further problems have been identified,” she says.
She adds, “I just want to stress the majority of Fanpass customers had no problems at all during the All Blacks test but we are sorry about the small number of customers who did. We have encouraged them to contact us directly to discuss the matter.”
Sky has not released a breakout number for Fanpass but, at its recent full-year result, it said its Neon and Fanpass services had 79,936 subscribers between them.
There have lately been reports that US giant Amazon could mount a bid for All Blacks rights post-2020, with talks with NZ Rugby starting in April next year.
There has so far been no concrete news on that front. But at least in their anger on Saturday night, a couple of Fanpass users were looking forward to rights changing hands:
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