Demand for ABC’s live Internet stream of the Oscars telecast Sunday evidently caught the network off guard, and the video feed went down for users across the U.S.
The live video through the Watch ABC app was “down nationwide due to a traffic overload/greater than expected,” a network rep said in an email. As of 10:45 p.m. Eastern, the feeds were back up, according to the rep, declining to provide additional info.
ABC was restricting the live feed of the 86th Academy Awards telecast over the Internet only to subscribers of eight pay-TV operators, the biggest of which is Comcast, and only in ABC’s eight owned-station markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Fresno, Calif. Watch ABC is available on web browsers, for iOS and Android devices and Apple TV.
However, through the Watch ABC service, the Alphabet net also was delivering live backstage content — free to anyone — comprising three channels pulled from 15 live cameras on the red carpet and throughout the backstage areas of the Dolby Theatre. This year ABC did not offer a standalone Oscars app, instead pushing the content through Watch ABC.
The outage was met with dozens of user complaints on Twitter that the video feed was either working poorly — or not at all.
Limited success streaming #Oscars to iOS or Android via Xfinity on Watch ABC app tonight. Working for others?
— Ari Soglin (@asoglin) March 3, 2014
— gene tsai (@sircambridge) March 3, 2014
— Jessica Wilt (@JessicaLWilt) March 3, 2014