Update (1:22 p.m. ET): International Business Times has obtained a statement from ESPN regarding WatchESPN's service issues. "First half peaked at more than 1.4m concurrent viewers on WatchESPN, a record. We are investigating some limited issues due to unprecedented demand," the statement read.
The United States men’s national team’s highly anticipated World Cup match with Germany is well underway, but the ESPN’s mobile apps are struggling to handle the influx of fans who are hoping to watch a live stream.
WatchESPN, the network’s online streaming service, appears to be experiencing intermittent lapses in service, with many fans unable to connect to the feed. Instead, prospective viewers are turning to live blogs and Univision’s live stream to keep track of the action.
The World Cup’s popularity has reached unprecedented heights in 2014. Broadcasts of Sunday’s USA-Ghana match drew 15.9 million viewers to ESPN and Univision, the two networks with rights to the feed, the Wall Street Journal reports. In addition, WatchESPN experienced a record audience of 1.4 million viewers, a number that likely increased for Thursday’s USA-Germany match.
The massive volume is likely responsible for WatchESPN’s current technical issues, but disgruntled users haven't been sympathetic to the network’s plight. International Business Times reached out to ESPN for a comment on the app's service issues but has yet to receive a response. Here’s a roundup of Twitter reactions to WatchESPN’s struggles.
— Wesley Walker (@yesimwes) June 26, 2014
— Conor (@ConorCoen) June 26, 2014
Espn streaming went down, switch to Univision
— Abdullah (@mista_mussa) June 26, 2014
— Erin Dreyfuss (@ErinDreyfuss) June 26, 2014
Get it together ESPN, down for such an important game...and I refuse to believe a soccer game crashed your site, so no excuses.
— Jeremy Gerrard (@JeremyGerrard) June 26, 2014
Soooo other than the espn app being down... How's your day?
— Texian Brewing Co (@TexianBrewing) June 26, 2014
Watch ESPN is down. Sweet
— Evan Payton (@Epay_20) June 26, 2014
DID ESPN REALLY JUST GO DOWN!?!
— Adrianna D. Lupher (@adlupher) June 26, 2014
— drathybaker (@drathybaker) June 26, 2014
is espn's website down for anyone else? or just me :-(
— Stephen Washburn (@stephenwashburn) June 26, 2014
— Todd T (@Real_Double_T) June 26, 2014
In an airplane and ESPN is so flooded nobody can watch #GERUSA, one of the fight attendents just called down to the ground for an update.
— mattlewismusic (@mattylewi) June 26, 2014