Hulu’s live TV subscription service cut off the end of tonight’s Super Bowl in some markets during the climactic final moments of the Eagles/Patriots game. Tom Brady was making a last-ditch push down the field in hopes of tying the 41-33 contest when Hulu customers lost all video and audio from NBC and U.S. Bank Stadium. Not everyone experienced the abrupt cutoff, which occurred at approximately 10:00PM ET.
But those who did received an error screen before the game’s conclusion. Error messages ranged from “no content available” to one that said the game couldn’t be shown due to rights restrictions.
Complaints immediately surged on Twitter and Reddit. The Verge has reached out to Hulu for an explanation as to what caused the unfortunate error. In a tweet, the company said there had been “a technical issue” and said users could restart their Hulu app to restore the game feed. Several of Hulu’s internet TV competitors including Sling TV and YouTube TV didn’t experience the same service interruption. PlayStation Vue had some of its own reliability problems, however. Nearly all of the services encountered minor snags like jumping back a few seconds every so often or occasional buffering. Internet TV still isn't quite as rock solid for sports as an OTA antenna or cable, it seems.
If fans needed a last-minute backup, the game was available to stream for free (no cable required) on mobile from the NFL app or Yahoo Sports.