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Why Is WatchESPN So Outrageously Bad?

After a (seemingly) smooth streaming NBA Playoffs thus far, there are noticeable cracks in WatchESPN’s armor. It’s now Conference Finals time and all Western Conference (Warriors vs Rockets) games are being aired on TNT while Eastern Conference (Celtics vs Cavs) are being aired on ESPN.

That’s bad news for Celtics/Cavs fans, and any NBA fan looking to stream the Eastern Conference Finals.

Why? The WatchESPN stream (allegedly) sucks.

I watched last night’s game on linear TV, which was smooth (of course), but I received this text from my brother last night:

Streaming the game on the ESPN app. The stream is really bad. Just googled and apparently it’s a notoriously awful stream.

One Google search later, I confirmed as much when I found the following page one result Reddit thread: Why is WatchESPN so outrageously bad?

(There are several more threads like this. Give it a search. See for yourself.)

In a sea of cord cutting and with ESPN touting its ESPN+ initiative to reach fans wherever they are, it seems crucial they provide a rock solid streaming experience across devices. What gives?

There isn’t much of any reporting on the poor stream qualities, but given the corroboration on Reddit, there appears to be a developing story surrounding ESPN’s need to improve its WatchESPN streaming quality.

I found some older threads on TNT’s poor streaming quality, but no recent Reddit threads and nothing nearly as negative as the WatchESPN complaints.

This could be nothing, but it sure seems like something. Stay tuned for developments.