The 58th annual Grammy Awards are taking place right now, but you wouldn't know it if you were trying to watch the ceremony online. About four seconds before the pre-show ended and the main event was set to begin, CBS's streaming platform, All Access, completely crashed. If you don't have cable or an antenna, CBS All Access was the only way to watch the Grammys tonight. Now, it's the only way to watch a blank screen continually reload.
What am I missing?
CBS launched All Access in the fall of 2014, and it's still the only major network to have a standalone streaming network. All Access is advertised as a place where viewers can pay $5.99 a month to watch past seasons of shows like Survivor, live streams of network shows The Good Wife and (supposedly) live events like the Grammys from anywhere. But we're now more than 30 minutes into a big live event, the same one that CBS has been using to entice people to sign up for its service, and All Access is streaming dead air.
The Grammys aren't the most watched awards show (in 2015, the Oscars drew in 36.6 million viewers as opposed to the Grammys' 25.3), but for a fledgling app like All Access, a flub of this magnitude is proof that the service isn't actually able to satisfy the high number of viewers it wants to attract. And all the exclusive Star Trek reruns in the world won't make up for the service's failure to deliver when it actually matters.
This isn't the first time a television network or streaming service has fumbled a live event stream. Last year, ABC kept accidentally airing the first few minutes of The Social Network during The Oscars. And Sling TV had to issue an apology after its Turner Sports broadcast kept crashing during March Madness. Soon, CBS will likely issue a similar apology, and, in the meantime, I'll keep waiting for this stream to load.