YouTube TV is freezing during the NBA playoffs — but a fix is coming

Youtube TV app on Apple TV home screen
(Image credit: Future)

YouTube TV is a great way to cut the cord. And typically, it's a great way to watch sports. But if you watched NBA Playoffs live streams, such as Wednesday's Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat you’d probably disagree.

That’s because, for the final minutes of the game, YouTube TV’s TNT feed froze on an ad for the upcoming The Little Mermaid movie. However, YouTube TV is promising that this issue will be a thing of the past. 

In a Reddit comment in the r/youtubetv subreddit (h/t 9to5Google), a YouTube TV engineer confirmed that YouTube TV is aware of the issue and is working on a solution. Admittedly, it’d be nearly impossible for them not to be aware of the issue given the vitriol on Twitter and other social media outlets from customers, but they seem to have narrowed down the problem to “elevated rebuffing rates.”

While the solution has not been rolled out yet, the engineer says that the streaming service “have a fix” so hopefully this is the last we see of this issue.

YouTube TV needs this fixed for the NFL season

NFL Sunday Ticket

(Image credit: AT&T)

In an unexpected silver lining for the streaming service, at least this ad buffering issue came up now rather than this fall. That’s because this year YouTube TV will be the home of NFL Sunday Ticket, meaning that the cable TV alternative will be the only place where you can watch every regular season NFL game.

And this wasn’t lost on the NFL analysts of Twitter. Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis and The Ringer took to Twitter with a fiery tweet saying that the NFL “is in trouble” because they chose YouTube TV as their Sunday Ticket partner. 

And he wasn’t alone. Joe Pompliano of Huddle Up newsletter fame may have had an even more scathing indictment of YouTube TV, highlighting all the changes over the years that have arguably left customers paying more for less, such as the loss of regional sports networks and the recent price hike to $73 a month.

Personally, I’d be lying if I said I never had a buffering issue with YouTube TV. It definitely happens. But I also was able to watch my Golden State Warriors embarrass themselves against the Los Angeles Lakers without any issues. With features such as Multiview and Key plays, YouTube TV remains an excellent option for sports fans cutting the cord, and I’m hopeful that YouTube TV’s new fix will keep it that way all through the NFL season, despite people’s valid concerns. 

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.