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FIFA World Cup 2022

Kolkatans face buffering bane for Fifa World Cup opener

Many football fans who watched the live streaming of the opening match of the World Cup complained of poor broadcast quality

Debraj Mitra | Published 22.11.22, 06:13 AM
WORLD CUP FEVER: A graffiti along Gopal Nagar Road depicts Argentine football star Lionel Messi in action

WORLD CUP FEVER: A graffiti along Gopal Nagar Road depicts Argentine football star Lionel Messi in action

Bishwarup Dutta

Barely into the third minute of the opening match of the Fifa World Cup, Ecuador’s veteran striker Enner Valencia jumped to head a well-directed cross into the Qatar net.

That was when the screen started buffering for Pujon Chatterjee, a resident of Ballygunge in south Kolkata, who was watching the match on the Jio Cinema app on his phone. Over the next hour, he could not get five minutes of uninterrupted streaming.

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Chatterjee was not alone. Many football fans who watched the live streaming of the opening match of the World Cup complained of poor broadcast quality.

On phone and on TV, the continuous buffering ruined their experience, said many users.

“I was not at home and tried watching on my phone. But it was a pathetic experience. I could not get five minutes of uninterrupted streaming. Fed up, I stopped watching a few minutes into the second half,” said Chatterjee, an advocate.

Reliance Jio, which won the rights to livestream the mega sporting event in India, was quick to apologise to viewers for the inconvenience its app had caused. “We are continuously working to give you a great experience. Please upgrade your app to the latest version to enjoy #FIFAWorldCupQatar2022. Apologies for any inconvenience,” Jio Cinema tweeted.

But the apology found few takers in the savage world of social media, which was flooded with messages and memes.

One Facebook post read: “Remember the 90s when someone got on the roof and adjusted the antenna and there was a human chain conveying whether or not the telly was getting any reception? Well, it’s 2022 and all of social media is doing the online version of that....”

“Absolutely loving Jio Cinema’s superbly unique new feature: 2 minutes buffering for every minute of football you watch,” said a tweet. 

Many fans who watched the England-Iran game on Monday evening on the app complained of a similar problem. Most of them are not regular Jio subscribers and installed the app only for watching the World Cup.

Some users suggested that going to the settings and opting for an extended stadium feed made viewing smooth. But many users still alleged problems. 

The number of viewers in Kolkata who opted for live streaming of the opening match was not immediately available.

Many fans said tried and tested service providers would have done a better job with the streaming rights. Some hoped that the coming match days would be better on the Jio Cinema app.

“It seems that their server was overloaded. The second half streaming quality was better than the first half. The next games should also be much better,” said Sayan Sarkar, who lives in Behala in southwest Kolkata.

On television, the Fifa World Cup is being broadcast on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. On OTT, the games are being streamed live on the Jio Cinema app. Matches can be watched on the Jio Cinema app for free without a subscription. One can also watch the matches on laptops and desktops on the Jio Cinema website for free.

Jio Cinema, now available for Jio, Vi, Airtel and BSNL subscribers, is live-streaming all the matches in five languages — English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali.

Last updated on 22.11.22, 06:13 AM
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