Why does Eurosport Player suck so much?

Last summer I tried Eurosport Player. I paid 5 or 6 euros for a month, but the service was so bad that I quit my subscription after that. Just a short summary of the little things that annoyed me:

  1. Eurosport only let me use their player on one (1) computer. I have two computers on my desk. I work from my laptop and use the old Imac with its big screen for entertainment. But sometimes I prefer to watch videos on the laptop, for example if I’m going to bed. So I use two computers. Which is hardly unusual nowadays. But this was not allowed. And I’m supposed to pay for this?
  2. Since it’s technically possible, and since I’m paying, it would have been great if Eurosport let me choose which geographical version of their broadcasts I preferred to watch. But they didn’t. Instead I used a VPN to get Roberto Vacchi’s Swedish commentary.
  3. Player was full of bugs and annoying bad energy, such as the volume always starting at the *middle* of the level bar (why!), and that level bar sometimes freezing on screen even when you move away the cursor.
  4. Microsoft Silverlight.
  5. Can’t watch it on my Wii U or PS3, see above. This is true for Adobe Flash too, but SVT Play’s HTML5 video works beautifully on my Wii U, so it’s not impossible.

And those were just my minor complaints! My main complaint was that the video quality sucked like I’ve never ever experienced before in the area of professional networks’ paid services.

It always started ok if I watched the video in the small window in the browser:

Screen-shot-2014-05-11-at-4.37.23-PM

When I chose full screen, it also started in ok quality for the first seconds:

Screen-shot-2014-05-11-at-4.31.47-PM

But then it quickly switched to this quality:

Screen-shot-2014-05-11-at-4.31.49-PM

And from there it just got worse. Now you would say it’s a bandwidth problem. But it worked in the small window; it’s the same amount of data that is transferred, just scaled to full screen! And look how beautifully the ZDF videos play:

Screen-shot-2014-05-25-at-8.16.16-PM

Screen-shot-2014-05-25-at-8.15.43-PM

Not to mention SVT Play:

Screen-shot-2014-08-15-at-9.50.22-PM

Screen-shot-2014-08-15-at-9.50.50-PM

Meanwhile, this is what I enjoyed on Eurosport Player:

Screen-shot-2014-05-11-at-5.01.25-PM

This is at 17,4 km. Or 11,8. Or something like that.

This is at 17,4 km. Or 11,8. Or something like that.

Sort of reminding of this painting by Monet:

monet

Look at this beautiful scenery!

Look at this beautiful scenery!

Only 800 meters to finish. This is getting exciting!

Only 800 meters to finish. This is getting exciting! (Note the frozen volume level bar down right.)

So exciting!

So exciting!

OMG I can't watch!

OMG I can’t watch!

Seriously: I CAN'T WATCH!

Seriously: I CAN’T WATCH!

This was Giro d’Italia. As for Tour de France, I watched it on Eurosport on my regular TV with DVB-T in 576 pixels interlaced. Meaning a real resolution of 288 vertical pixels. So it’s very good news that the Tour this year will come back to ARD (the public service broadcaster in Germany), which I can watch in “HD” (720p).

Note: All screenshots in this post were saved in their original size as jpegs with quality 60.

18 Responses to Why does Eurosport Player suck so much?

  1. Simon January 19, 2015 at 10:34 #

    The same I experienced! It was sooo annoying. Monnet and Giro Cyclists, haha! Very nice;)

    • geraldine savar August 8, 2016 at 14:25 #

      Yes, they are absolutely horrible, terrible customer service, you pay, it doesn’t work, they don’t respond. Thank you for sharing, looking where I can write more bad reviews to let people know that they should absolutely never subscribe to this player.

  2. j0ch3n March 22, 2015 at 13:51 #

    found this blog over my google search for Eurosport Player quality. i totally agree to your experience!

    i made my subscription for ES Player today (luckily for only 1 month), because i wanted to watch todays superbike-races re-live…

    – stucks and freezes at least 5 times per minute
    – 2 – 3 times per minute some scenes are repeating, but sound plays straight on
    – bad image quality
    – bad sound quality
    – volume always starts in the middle

    short story: the “service” of the Eurosport Player is totally annoying. if i knew this before, i never spent a single cent for this sh*t! absolutely ruined my sunday… it’s a shame MotoGP went to Eurosport from this year on, so i’m sure, i will miss some races of the upcoming 2015 season. 🙁

    i’m totally disappointed and will never ever come back to this pay-tv-“service”… shame on you, Eurosport!

    just for information: YouTube runs flawless with HTML5 @ 720p via my DSL 6.000.

  3. Peter June 15, 2015 at 03:00 #

    Bought this service today for one year! It seems I’m a fool 🙂
    I’m a great fan of MotoGP, Superbike ,Snooker and found no other way to see Eurosport2.
    The videos (recordings) they offer are nothing else than a piece of crap…

  4. Stu July 2, 2015 at 14:20 #

    I have just canceled my subscription.

    Being a Linux user I had to use a workaround to get M$ Silver light to work. This in its self disappointed me that industry standards were not being used (html5) rather than MS propitiatory junk for example. Still the service was good once I got it working. I have to say that the video quality was very good and WSB was great to watch over the Eurosport platform.

    Since Eurosport have upgraded the service the workaround that I was using to get the player working on Linux ceased to work. No problem I can watch on my phone and cast to the TV….oops….the Adriod app is sh!t too !!

    Today subscription canceled.

  5. Phex July 5, 2015 at 08:46 #

    had a subscription last year, cancelled for the same reasons as yours.

    would re-subscribe though if they switched to to hd html5 streaming and removed their stupid region limitations (on all devices).

  6. Stef July 10, 2015 at 11:50 #

    Does anyone know of any good alternatives to Eurosport Player for watching live sport – cycling, rugby, tennis, athletics, etc?

  7. Tommy July 25, 2015 at 15:23 #

    I laughed so much while reading this 🙂 I have the same problem. Eurosport player sucks big time. I will never buy this inferior service again.

  8. hgcv August 30, 2015 at 15:38 #

    still true…

  9. Phex September 19, 2015 at 09:45 #

    I have to say I am surprised.

    A colleague of mine who is still using the player showed me that Eurosport actually modified their player – new interface and now it also works with Google Chrome without Silverlight. Even on Linux.

    Video quality is still not great, but acceptable.

  10. jens October 11, 2015 at 10:23 #

    The problem is still present, while bandwith is no problem the cpu is up to95% permanent

  11. jens October 11, 2015 at 10:40 #

    The esp service answers with the now avaiable 10/2015 small player, but this is totally rubbish, smaller window with the same jerky picture quality.

  12. david January 24, 2016 at 22:05 #

    Trying to watch the Australian Open is like watching a slideshow of still photographs, except a slideshow would keep going. Eurosport player hangs up after about 30 seconds of low quality video. The time counter keeps going however. Eurosport player is an example of the brain-dead mindset of former television executives who still think the world wants to watch a linear ‘channel’. They do give you the opportunity to watch matches that you missed, except they’re not organized in any usable fashion. They’re labeled ‘day 6 2:30:27’, ‘day 6 :23:32’ with no other indication of wtf it is. Like I’m going to look at it and go ‘Oh! Day 6 23:32! That’s just what I wanted to see!’ Really pathetic. These people should just quit the business. This thing is so far gone there’s nothing here to improve. It’s hopeless.

  13. david January 24, 2016 at 22:09 #

    and I forgot to mention that if I did select ‘day 6 :23:32’, it won’t play either… In fact, not one piece of content that I selected would play on any of the 8 computers, phones, tablets I own or on any wifi or broadband network in any location I’ve ever tried. Ever

  14. Ingela February 16, 2016 at 16:42 #

    I totally agree with all of you, but i am a big fan of snooker, there is no other company sending that, of course a very bad from snookerroom 🙁 We have a big oroblem with a sportcompany that

    Try to cover all sports (all sports all emotions, yeah, all emotions like anger, hate, frustrations)
    Serve us adsmeven thought we pay for the service
    Givena damn to our claimm for quality

    I have once in a hwile thought to start a FB community for complains aboit eurosport, i have cancelled my subscription, but to interested in snooker so i started up again. My problem at the moment is the picture freezing all the time, often when its exiting moments, and break for other sports, even in a finalmatch

    I HATE EUROSPORT

  15. Billy March 9, 2016 at 12:14 #

    No idea why you have so many issues – old versions of the player were indeed awful but I’ve been watching winter sports , cycling ,rallying, superbikes etc , with almost no problem for Over a year now. Works on my iPhone & iPad linked to a basic Sony TV . Agree about the labelling of videos , that really is poor

    • jens March 16, 2016 at 18:33 #

      The medium is the problem. While the player works mostly for TV, Android or Iphone the usage on PC is the problem. It could be the problem with Silverlight /DRM, but so far nothing has changed while HTML5 is a function implemented in the player. The issue comes for me with the incredible high cpu load, never on the bandwith.

  16. nomis July 11, 2016 at 14:22 #

    Eurosport don’t seem to care. As they have not responded to anyones complaints. If we could switch to something alternative we would. They know they hold the rights to most of the sports we love to watch. I have been a subscriber for over 3+ years now and it’s still extremely bad. Full of bugs, poor quality, glitchy pictures, etc. The selection between light version and full version makes absolutely no difference.

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