FIFA World Cup 2022, the most highly anticipated sports event, had a grand opening in Qatar this week with much fanfare and grandeur. However, the football festival started on a not-so-fun note for Indian viewers who planned on streaming the inaugural match on Jio Cinemas App. The online streaming platform suffered constant glitches and intermittent lags throughout the game. The inaugural match was played between Ecuador and the host country, Qatar.
Jio Cinemas, the flagship streaming app of Reliance Jio, has the online streaming rights for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the company is providing free access to its platform for Indian football fans to enjoy the event. However, it appears that the streaming platform wasn’t really prepared to handle the stream on such a huge scale and a lot of difficulties cropped up for viewers across the country. The unexpected error encountered during the live stream along with frequent glitches and buffers. Many fans also complained of low quality video whenever the stream was working.
Miffed fans across the country were quick to turn to social media to voice their disappointment. One of the viewers tweeted, “Streaming is lagging a lot. I even missed the first two goals of this year’s FIFA world cup. Really disappointed.” Another user said in their tweet, “Wow #JioCinema you guys should have tested your servers before putting in your bid for broadcasting #FIFAWorldCup in India. Pathetic service.”
One viewer noted how offering free streaming to viewers would mean nothing if the services are poor, “Can’t even watch 1 min. I subscribed to Voot for the matches. I don’t mind paying instead of this. Very disappointed.” At the same time, another user also pointed out, “Did upgrade the #JioCinema app, no improvement. Still stuck after 3-5 seconds. Awful experience.”
Many viewers even posted buffering videos and screenshots to validate all the issues they were facing trying to stream the game. One viewer posted a video that showed how the live stream started buffering right before an important goal. Soon, negative hashtags against Jio Cinemas started trending on Twitter with the disappointed fans trying to vent their frustration by noting everything that was wrong with Jio Cinema’s streaming service.
Following the backlash on a large scale, the Reliance owned streaming platform had to come out, acknowledge the multiple issues faced by the viewers during the live stream, and tweet an apology. The company, however, tried to apologise with light hearted TikTok meme in an effort to keep the temperature down. The company tweeted, “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.”
Fans, however, were not really convinced by Jio Cinema’s apology and the light hearted approach of sharing memes while being regretful didn’t really work with the disappointed fans. “At 300 Mbps broadband connection, the picture is getting stuck again & again. It is a very bad experience. Now even @SonyLIV seems superb in comparison to this. It’s gonna be a horrifying experience for Indian fans. Get ready to be disappointed,” wrote one such disappointed Jio Cinema user.