Since the beginning of the World Cup 2014 game between USA and Germany (and again during USA-Belgium), we've seen people report issues with starting to stream the game on AppleTV and iOS.
So Comcast's authentication server died today. I wonder why?-- Jason Snell (@jsnell) June 26, 2014
All I get on Apple TV. And can't log out or do anything. Just for the World Cup stream. Works on every other device. pic.twitter.com/Wdx53yphBp-- MG Siegler (@parislemon) July 1, 2014
We believe that this is an issue of the scalability of the connection between WatchESPN and the Cable Providers authentication servers.
We also believe that this backend service is called Adobe Pass, and it is used by many broadcast rights holders in North America and around the world, see What Does Adobe Pass Do, And Why is it Critical to Live Sports Event Streaming?
We were able to get authorized by Verizon to stream the game in about 3 minutes of trying, although it took two attempts to successfully authenticate.
Try following the authentication process through a couple of times, we got authenticated, and the stream is fine, http://t.co/6T0OE5S8yN-- OperationGadget (@OperationGadget) June 26, 2014
Another alternative for U.S. users is to download Univision Deportes and try it, because they are not requiring authentication for the first round of the World Cup. Here is our guide to Univision Deportes.
We will continue to monitor Twitter and report on our Twitter feed if we hear of more severe problems.
Some of the people I am in conversation with on Twitter and privately are saying that they think the issue is a middleware glitch. There is some indication that WatchESPN uses Adobe Pass for validating cable company subscriptions. Those people are saying that Adobe Pass issues sometimes crop up when there is high demand to launch live streams concurrently.
For more background on Adobe Pass and what the broadcast industry calls "TV Everywhere", see What Does Adobe Pass Do, And Why is it Critical to Live Sports Event Streaming?