Watching Champions League final on YouTube was a blur
Liverpool weren’t the only winner from Saturday’s Champions League final because BT Sports must be laughing all the way to the bank with new subscriptions.
The broadcaster made the all-English final free to view on YouTube but the quality of the images was so dodgy compared to watching it normally that it’s an experiment I, and many others like me, won’t be repeating in a hurry.
Whether this results in people signing up to expensive subscriptions for the new season remains to be seen but BT definitely missed a trick.
It’s fair to say Saturday was a personal damp squib for me in more ways than one. I got a golden duck at cricket earlier in the day and dashed off before the end of the match to make sure I didn’t miss any of the CL final in Madrid.
My wife was late getting ready so at the precise moment Liverpool were awarded a penalty for a controversial handball by Moussa Sissoko after just 30 seconds, I was in Formby High Street dropping her and her sister off in town for their night out.
It meant that instead of watching Mo Salah smash home the spot-kick with my brother-in-law I had to listen to it on the brilliant BBC Radio 5 Live.
My brother-in-law connected his TV up to YouTube. We often watch big matches together and still remember the excitement of Sergio Aguero's 93rd minute winner for Man City against QPR in 2012 to clinch the league title and spark the iconic ‘AguerooOOOOOOOO’ commentary line from Martin Tyler.
I think it was a really good move by BT to make watching the final available to people like me who can’t justify expensive satellite TV packages.
There’s a massive problem with fans illegally streaming high profile matches and the police have threatened to pull the plug on authorised streams at critical moments like a goal or sending off.
The problem with the YouTube coverage of Saturday’s Champions’ League match was that the players were left blurred across the screen, making it very difficult to see what was happening.
My resourceful brother-in-law got his children to get off the internet to see if that improved the streaming quality and at one point even suggested watching the game in the main bedroom because the reception might be better!
I looked at Twitter and quickly realised that other people were having similar problems so I realised it wasn’t just us suffering from a technical problem.
The most exciting thing to happen in the first half was when a scantily clad pitch invader in a leotard ran across the pitch but the cameras quickly cut away.
Watching the game as a neutral it was actually a really poor spectacle – not that Liverpool fans will be complaining as they clinched their sixth European Cup.
It lacked the excitement of the two semi-finals, Liverpool vs Barcelona and Tottenham vs Ajax, which I listened to on 5 Live, which made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
To be fair, I thought the quality of both the streaming and the match improved in the second half and I was glad to have been able to see Divock Origi’s 87th minute goal clearly.
However, if I’m honest, I don’t think BT cover football as well as Sky Sports, and I didn’t like the fact the commentator kept plugging a boxing fight which was on later and the 52 Premier League games they’re showing next season.
As always I enjoyed spending time with my brother-in-law but my first experience of watching a football match on YouTube was a bit of a blur.
- Follow Chris Maguire on Twitter @editor_maguire