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(Updated) YouTube TV Woes Continue with MLB and NBA Streaming


YouTube TV app icon on an Apple TV
Justin Duino / Review Geek

Last week we talked about how sports streaming apps aren’t working very well, and those woes aren’t going away. For the fourth week in a row, YouTube TV struggled with the NBA playoffs, the MLB network is gone, DVR is broken, and fans all over Reddit aren’t too happy.

Update, 5/25/23: After further investigation, it appears that YouTube TV’s DVR system as a whole is experiencing problems. Countless users have confirmed recordings won’t play, and some have even been replaced with video-on-demand versions of shows or shortened games, but with non-skippable ads. According to CordCuttersNews, Google is working on a fix.

For starters, we’re nearly two months into the Major League Baseball season and the MLB Network is still missing from YouTube TV, which has fans worried it isn’t coming back. After the two parties failed to reach an agreement, YouTube TV lost MLB Network just ahead of spring training in February.

The streaming service touts sports as one of the biggest reasons to ditch cable and switch to YouTube, and a lot of the advertising material shows Baseball. The two companies released positive statements after the news that MLB Network was going away. Many expected it to return in time, but it didn’t.

Making matters worse, YouTube announced an $8 price increase a month later, all while it struggled to maintain or renegotiate content agreements. Several users on Reddit voice complaints about the most recent price hike, where it costs more for less. As of May, YouTube TV still doesn’t offer MLB Network.

Even if the service did have the MLB Network, that doesn’t mean fans would be happy. Just ask anyone trying to watch the NBA Playoffs. Last week YouTube TV dealt with multiple issues, fans couldn’t watch games, some streams cut out before the game ended, and ads kept freezing accounts.

YouTube TV engineers posted to Twitter that it was aware of the problem and that a solution was coming. However, a few nights ago, the Lakers vs. Nuggets game faced many of those same issues. Fans dealt with lag, stuttering, and endless buffering with spinning circles instead of buckets. Here’s what one user on Reddit said:

“LOL. Just wait until football starts. Those who paid for Sunday Ticket are going to have certain expectations. I guarantee there are going to be a lot of disappointed and mad customers.”

Additionally, many users couldn’t watch games live, so they opted to record with YouTube TV’s unlimited DVR function. Sadly, we’re seeing similar complaints of loading circles, unavailable recordings, and other complaints. We’re unsure if this is an issue with the NBA, ESPN, or YouTube TV’s new ad implementation, but it’s not good.

Don’t get me wrong, YouTube TV works great in some scenarios. I’ve watched nearly twenty NHL Stanley Cup playoff games without a hiccup. We’re not sure what the deal is, but YouTube TV might want to fix it before the NFL Ticket launches in a few months.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »