MSNBC Debate Webcast Constantly Buffering, Poor Audio

I’ve been trying to watch the Clinton and Obama debate live on and for the 10 minutes since it started, I can’t get more than 2-3 seconds of clear video without the screen freezing and delivering me a "buffering" message in the video window. The audio is very distorted as well with high-pitch feedback type noises. What a terrible experience. Anyone able to watch the stream without any problems?

Update: Within a few minutes of me making this post ten others have already left comments below experiencing the same problems. Not good, especially for those of us who have FiOS TV, which does not carry MSNBC.

Update 2: One of the folks who commented below gave a new link from another website where the video works. Now that’s the power of the web.

Update 3: I put in calls to Limelight and Akamai’s support numbers and both folks I spoke to in the network operations centers didn’t think their company was delivering the stream. I won’t know for sure until Wednesday where/who the problem is with.

Update 4: Limelight Networks has officially confirmed that they are not delivering the webcast.

Update 5: Akamai has officially stated to me that they were not involved in the webcast. I have a request into MSNBC, should hear back shortly.

  • Ale

    Same thing happening in Manhattan. We’ll have to catch it on YouTube later;)

  • Daxon

    I had the same problem. whatever you do, don’t close and try to reopen – you won’t get to see any of it! Doesn’t even start anymore – tried 10 times. Clearly, their infrastructure/service is not scalable.
    What a letdown. They really need to apologize.

  • John S

    Same experience here. Video looks great, just not streaming. Disappointing at best

  • afaf

    This is really pissing me off

  • Russ

    Same buffering issue here in Iowa City, IA – very disappointing.

  • Joel

    Harrisburg, PA checking into this rant! Sheesh, pathetic. Oh well, serves me right for subscribing to stripped $9/mo Comcast!
    God Bless YouTube!

  • Bob

    Same problems here. What a rip off. I have Verizon Fios and they don’t carry MSNBC so now I have to put up with this buffering nightmare.

  • Tysen

    Same frustrating problems for me.

  • Yvonne


  • PrincessRunsWithScissors

    Illinois, bogus buffering problems here, too!

  • serenity

    same problem in Pittsburgh. Pathetic.

  • Jake C.

    Same problem in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Gosh! You’d think a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC could stream video properly over the internet. How incompetent can they be?

  • Matt

    Yeah, same here in Vermont. The audio is okay. Somebody hit it right–why isn’t it scaleable? I would watch it at a very low res if it was live.

  • hooray!
  • buffering…please..wait…in Jersey City

    whew. this is bad. I watched the last debate online on and it was fine. I have crazy bandwidth via Comcast and even recycled my cable modem to no avail.
    ya know, some people actually take online video seriously. this is way sub-par…

  • Angela

    I also had a buffering problem. Try this video – it works for me:

  • argghhhhhhhh!

    There are five of us in a room yelling at the monitor. Your blog made me feel a little better knowing its not just my computer.

  • serenity

    thank you very, very much, folks who provided links to alternative feeds. You rock.

  • Andrew

    Same thing in southwest Missouri. Very disappointing, as I was looking forward to this debate the entire day. MSNBC should be ashamed.

  • hooray rocks!

    hooray: thanks! kyc even works with full screen!

  • Frustrated debate watcher here in DC. Was initially on my Verizon wireless card as I’m having wireless router issues, but when the video sucked I plugged in to my highest available Comcast speed.
    Despite the fact that I’ve got at least 5Mbps with bursts up to 10Mbps, still no luck.
    And considering the fact that I recently canceled my cable service as I felt I could get everything I wanted online, I am sorely disappointed.
    Anyone know what CDN they’re using? Or any guesses as to if the problem’s local or in the network?

  • earthgeek

    I was skeptical before last debate streamed by cnn *THEY* impressed me! Their image looked good and barely had any defects.
    I worked with curricular A/V for higher education for 8 of the last 9 years. Scaling a stream is serious business. This is truly egg on M$NBC’s face. There wasn’t any test or pre-stream that I could find — then it loads all this extraneous garbage and stupid adds (goes to bandwidth issue) and from the very start had adds and severe buffering…..
    AND all the other audio and video artifacts. Greed over technical ability. This has been a halmark of anything Micro$oft touches – oh the shame. But kudos to CNN for pulling it off the other day [ but maybe the channel availability problem upped the ante in what is already a popular political event ]

  • Nico

    Here’s the answer…
    Flash player on MSNBC is coming from Limelight – and of course, the one that is working ia wmedia coming from Akamai –
    Erratic Adobe stream (which only worked in FF, not IE coming from LLNW)
    TCP nmclane-HP:4368 ESTABLISHED
    Pne that worked is coming from Akamai —
    Adobe will work it out one day … just not tonight!

  • Nico

    Limelight SO IS!!! I can’t believe they said that!
    TCP nmclane-HP:4368 ESTABLISHED

  • John

    Akamai is streaming this off their domain – So Akamai is delivering this horrible quality….

  • Jim

    RE — UPDATE #4
    Who’s info is correct – Nico’s (posted above) or your info from Limelight (from the outside – I’m pretty sure you are not getting a strait answer from the guy you talked with at LimeLight – I would not want to show the world my network is having issues with streaming – esp when that is all you do as a vendor, BUT I COULD BE WRONG)

  • Did you see how much ad revenue Leslie Moonves anticipates from streaming March Madness? $21M!!!! With the same audience size!!!
    Dan, you shd prepare a cross-country test of the CBS streams to see just how well they perform. I think March Madness starts next month but I’ll have to check my calendar.

  • PK

    Netstat does not lie.
    ANY Streaming “All Start” should pull out this tool right away 😉

  • StreamingShooter

    Do we take them on their word, or what tools are available to you to verify who the CDN is?
    Thanks! Love your stuff!

  • Barbs68

    California same problem. Cant get stream to work