/// Bumpy Start for Oscars Live Streaming Initiative

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week

ABC’s first pass at live-streaming the Academy Awards didn’t exactly go off without a hitch last night, as user demand knocked the service out of commission. The live video feed streaming on the WatchABC app conked out during the network’s Red Carpet coverage, an outage ABC chalked up to “a traffic overload” caused by demand that exceeded expectations. The service was up and running again at around 10:45 p.m. EST. ABC’s pilot program was limited to its eight owned-and-operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Fresno, Calif. The live-stream also was available only to subscribers of a handful of cable and/or telco-TV services, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter, Cablevision, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse. Thus, if you met one condition—say, you live in the greater New York metropolitan area and are served by the flagship WABC-7—you were still out of luck if you also happen to be a Time Warner Cable, DirecTV or Dish Network subscriber. According to Nielsen fast national data, the 86th Annual Academy Awards averaged 40.2 million total viewers, up 9 percent from 37 million a year ago. The ceremony drew a 12.1 rating among adults 18-49, even with last year’s preliminary numbers .

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