The issues with sound that cropped up during Adele’s performance of All I Ask weren’t the only technical troubles affecting last night’s Grammys. Unlike the relatively brief interruption of the song, viewers attempting to watch the awards show via CBS All Access had problems all night.
Immediately before the show was set to start, the streaming service crashed for many viewers, leaving those without cable subscriptions or the ability to tune into broadcast TV unable to watch the show. These issues continued throughout the show, and viewers were furious — understandably so, considering CBS All Access is a paid service.
CBS said that the problem lay in the streaming service’s ability to verify the locations of users, according to Variety. This might not explain why the service allowed users to watch the pre-show just fine, but whether or not this was the only source of the problem, it was a major misstep on CBS’ part, as the network hoped to use the Grammys to attract viewers to its streaming service.
Ahead of the awards show, CBS offered a one-week free trial of All Access, which normally costs $6 per month. Had the service worked well, it could have been a big night for the service. Now both existing and potential future customers are left feeling burned.
This comes as somewhat of a surprise considering that All Access was widely reported to have worked quite well during the Super Bowl. CBS said it had a record night for streaming, with 3.96 million viewers watching the game online.
As reports of issues with CBS All Access spread via Twitter, a number of bootleg streams appeared online, though CBS worked to shut the vast majority of them down fairly quickly.
Last week CBS CEO Les Moonves was quoted as saying that streaming is “very important” to the company’s future. If that’s the case, the company can’t afford another issue like this one.