Four days after Kansas State football fans vented their frustrations about the ESPN+ streaming broadcast of their Big 12 football game against Oklahoma State, the network is ready to take responsibility for what went wrong.
Fan complaints ranged from blurry video quality to poor camera angles and unprepared announcers, but their main gripe was missing the final minutes of the second quarter because of technical difficulties.
When the Cowboys and Wildcats returned to action following a lightning delay, ESPN+ viewers weren’t able to see Skylar Thompson hit Sammy Wheeler for a 39-yard pass up the right sideline and the Wildcats score their first points on a field goal from Blake Lynch.
ESPN issued the following statement to The Wichita Eagle explaining the technical difficulties:
“During Saturday’s Kansas State at Oklahoma State game, our production encountered issues that affected the viewing experience of our fans during brief portions of the game. We apologize for the problems.
“The issues were offsite routing and transmission issues, as well as lightning in the Stillwater area, and were not related to our Big 12 Now on ESPN+ platform. We are working to ensure these isolated issues do not happen again.”
Streaming games on ESPN+ instead of broadcasting them on traditional cable or over-the-air TV is a new practice for the Big 12.
The conference announced several months ago that it was starting its own conference-wide streaming network (called Big 12 Now) and that a large chunk of games and original programming would be available on it.
KU and K-State fans will need ESPN+ to watch every basketball game their teams play this season.
Both KU and K-State have already played two football games on the platform. And the Wildcats are scheduled to play 13 basketball games on ESPN+, while the Jayhawks will make eight appearances online.