Hulu Says Super Bowl Live-Streaming Outage Was Caused by Program-Extension Glitch

An unknown number of Hulu’s live TV subscribers missed the final minutes of Super Bowl LII — just before the last-ditch effort by the New England Patriots to tie up the game failed — and the company on Monday blamed the outage on an error in its system for extending live programming past its scheduled stop time.

A Hulu rep said a small number of subscribers was affected by the outage. According to social-media posts, some Hulu live TV customers saw their NBC feeds wink out at around 10 p.m. ET. The live feed was fully restored on Hulu shortly before NBC’s airing of “This Is Us,” which began at around 10:45 p.m.

“Last night, we experienced a technical issue that impacted the Super Bowl stream for some viewers on Hulu,” the company said in a statement. “While the issue affected only a small percentage of Hulu’s live TV subscribers, we know this is an unacceptable experience for those viewers, and we sincerely apologize for the interruption.”

In addition, Sony’s PlayStation Vue service experienced a “brief” service interruptions during the Super Bowl, per the official PS support Twitter account. A Sony rep did not respond to a request for more info.

For Hulu, the issue was related to the streaming company’s system for extending live programming past its pre-set endpoint, according to a rep. In the programming schedule, NBC’s Super Bowl LII coverage was set to end at 10 p.m. ET, when the episode for “This Is Us” was supposed to air. For reasons still unknown, the live game was unavailable for some Hulu subscribers once the clock struck 10 p.m. ET.

In a tweet at 10:17 p.m. ET on Sunday, Hulu’s customer support account recommended that users restart their Hulu app “as a workaround.”

A few Hulu subscribers reported seeing an error message that referred to “rights restrictions” as the cause of the problem. However, according to the company, the outage was strictly a technical issue — and had nothing to do with content rights. The outage did not specifically affect individual markets, nor did it affect specific devices.

Pictured above: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks off the field at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis after the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII.

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