If you’re one of the tech-savvy “cord cutters” who has ditched your cable subscription in favor of live streams on your phone or computer, you may have been muttering a few unmentionables under your breath during the recent GOP debate.
According to Mashable, users of the Fox News app were disappointed when they settled in to watch the much-anticipated first Republican Debate of the year, only to find an error message glaring back at them.
As is usually the case on the internet, multiple other “unofficial” streams were available, though some more reliable than others. Most were taken down immediately by Fox News because of copyright issues.
The problem is particularly troubling considering the robust infrastructure available to Fox when it comes to funding proper web development for their live streams.
It’s possible that a bug popped up after the initial development was finished, but it’s still no excuse for the media giant. Proper website maintenance is crucial to a site’s long-term success, and it’s important to ensure all aspects of it before letting millions of people log on to watch such an important debate.
The best option for those who received an error message was a live stream being broadcast on the Youtube channel of Sky News, a hugely popular news corporation in the UK. It was the best option, at least, until that too was taken down.
Despite being owned by the same parent company, 21st Century Fox, Fox News had such a quick trigger on any possible copyright infringement that it shut down Sky News’ broadcast moments after it started to gain a following.
As Fortune notes, the most puzzling aspect of this whole situation is Facebook’s inability to step up and produce a reliable stream.
Facebook was considered the other “host” of the debate, and their logo was plastered everywhere throughout the entire event.
One would think that the social media powerhouse, who has recently made major investments in their live stream technology, would have taken the bull by the horns and thrown a stream up to appease disappointed users of the Fox News app.
Alas, they did nothing, and millions were left to their own devices, scrambling to a neighbor’s house or local bar to catch the final moments of the debate.
The good news is, the fireworks were at a minimum, and those who missed the first GOP debate will have plenty of other chances to watch Donald Trump sling around insults.