UPDATED: Grammys Live Stream Failure on CBS All Access Draws Complaints

Taylor Swift Grammy Awards 2016
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

UPDATED 7:05 p.m. PT: CBS blamed the live steam problems on a glitch in All Access’ ability to verify the locations of some users.

“Some users experienced temporary difficulty accessing the live online feed of the Grammys. Our location services provider had a brief issue verifying user location. That issue has since been resolved and all users are back online,” a CBS Interactive spokesman said.

The problems are said to have affected a small percentage of the record number of people viewing CBS All Access’ live stream. However, some users are still reporting problems via social media.

PREVIOUSLY: CBS appears to be struggling with the demand for the live stream of tonight’s Grammy Awards telecast as many viewers are complaining of being unable to watch the show via the CBS All Access SVOD service.

CBS aimed to capitalize on viewer interest in the Grammys by offering a free one-week trial of CBS All Access, hoping to whet the appetites of potential subscribers to the service, which costs $5.99 a month. But viewers in multiple markets reported they were unable to load the live stream. That could be a result of demand overwhelming CBS’ ability to serve up streams.

Another problem could be viewers trying to watch in markets where the live TV stream is not available via CBS All Access. Those are markets where CBS has yet to reach an agreement with its affiliate station on a revenue-sharing partnership for All Access. CBS said earlier this month that about 85% of its affiliates are on board with CBS All Access. (Here’s a list of the 130 markets where the live stream should be available.)

A CBS rep had no immediate comment on status of the All Access stream.

With some encountering problems with the All Access stream, links to bootleg live streams of the Grammy Awards were circulating widely in social media, although CBS appeared to be cracking down quickly on those unauthorized streams.

Here’s a sampling of viewer complaints:

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  1. renodave2015 says:

    Regarding the use of an antenna to watch the show: Not everyone can receive a broadcast signal. In my case, some large hills prevent that from happening.

    Plus, streaming the show allowed people to watch the broadcast on other devices – like their phone or iPad. A lot of people don’t have TVs these days.

    And one other thing: Streaming the show gave users on the West Coast the somewhat rare opportunity to watch the show live, rather than on a three-hour delay. In this day and age of instant, nationwide communication, that’s quite nice. No spoilers!

  2. renodave2015 says:

    Some users? Interesting spin. I have yet to see anyone comment that they were able to stream the broadcast with no problems. Not saying they aren’t out there, but usually when you have a lot of people complaining about something not working you have someone pipe up to say theirs worked just fine. Not with this debacle.

  3. Karen says:

    CBS is lying. I know many that could not get the Grammy’s and ours was not temporary but ALL night and the WHOLE show. What a joke. Even better, call Customer Service with your work order number and get hung up on. What a disgrace. They deserve all the complaints and more.

  4. Steve Hull says:

    Here in Charlottesville, VA watched it on Comcast Cable. Picture cut out 6-8 times (in the first half of the show) then after each feed cut station would switch to color slides and national PSAs fillers so this wasn’t a local “box” problem on our end as a customer.

    This was in addition to the Glen Fly Package stepping on a winner’s speech.

  5. Suni says:

    CBS’ definition of a”brief glitch” must not align with mine. I tried for an hour and a half before giving up. Jerks.

  6. Tammy says:

    TurnTV,when Beyoncé comes on Grammys,can’t believe CBS.

  7. lsteve says:

    Live in LA, Calif area and I’m still getting the checking availability screen!! CBS had better not charge me next week !! I am a Verizon Fios customer and can stream such stations as NBC, ABC, KTLA, FOX NEWS, etc for free!!!

  8. cadavra says:

    Gee, whatever happened to watching it on TV for free?

  9. Do no one remember that CBS is a broadcast network and with a basic antenna (purchased for $10) they would have had access to it LIVE?

  10. Greg Vernon says:

    CBS AllAccess is an unmitigated disaster. Just a week after the Super Bowl debacle. On the upside, when the live stream is a buggy mess the problems with repeated logins, the unintuitive interface and the spotty mobile device performance seem less substantial.

  11. Joe says:

    This is an embarrassment.
    I’m getting changed $6 for no Grammys
    #totalfail

  12. Chris says:

    No surprise. Everything CBS does is garbage.

  13. Thomas williams says:

    This SUCKS big time. Pay for all access and in the middle of the music industry’s to awards, access denied!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!! Missed the best part of the show!!! Will cancel my monthly subscription

  14. Anita says:

    CBS sucks! Hackers unite pay back greedy bastards

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