Following some technical difficulties experienced in recent weeks across Wanderers TV, we would like to send an update to supporters on the service.
Of the 24 pre-season, League and Cup games we have had the rights to stream or provide audio commentary for so far this season, we have encountered issues during three of those games – all within recent weeks.
We understand this has been frustrating for supporters and we would like to address each instance to offer some context and explanation as to what occurred.
Our hope is that the below goes some way to explaining what technical difficulties we have encountered, the preventative processes that have since been put in place and offers reassurance on the reliability of the service:
Wanderers vs. Peterborough United, Saturday 23rd September
As a Saturday 3pm fixture, this game was only available to supporters living overseas. During the game, the video stream dropped out for around 40 minutes.
This occurred because our third-party streaming partners experienced a rare system overload that affected the stream for some users. This technical failure was experienced by multiple clubs across the EFL that use the same external supplier, not just Bolton Wanderers.
The issue was resolved whilst the game was still in play, and we have since liaised closely with our streaming partner to understand the processes now in place to prevent a similar occurrence.
Wanderers vs. Solihull Moors, Saturday 4th November
Due to broadcasting rights, only existing subscribers to Wanderers TV could access audio only for this Emirates FA Cup fixture.
Audio commentary was not available throughout the first half due to an unprecedented ISDN connection failure. This was resolved ahead of the second half commencing.
Further systems have now been put in place to prevent a similar occurrence and there have been no recorded audio failures since.
Stockport County vs. Wanderers, Tuesday 14th November
For the first time since launch – and in the spirit of transparency – there was an internal, human error made when setting up the match passes for the Stockport County fixture. This resulted in many supporters discovering they were unable to access the stream ahead of kick off.
This was identified well ahead of kick off and the system was quickly reconfigured to the correct settings.
Despite a slight delay whilst the system updated, the stream was up and running less than five minutes after kick off and apology emails were sent within 25 minutes to all supporters who had contacted the club, raising the issue.
We anticipated no further issues but, unfortunately, around five minutes before the end of the first half, there was an onsite power outage in the gantry at Stockport County resulting in both Bolton Wanderers’ and Stockport County’s streams cutting out for a short time.
This was quickly resolved by teams at Edgeley Park but we know it was incredibly disappointing for our supporters to miss Wanderers’ second goal of the night during this power outage.
Neil Hart, Chief Executive Officer of Bolton Wanderers said: “We want to be open and honest with supporters about some of the issues we have encountered with the live element of our Wanderers TV service across a small number of games in recent weeks.
“Wanderers TV is still a new venture for the Club and with each issue we have encountered, we have taken learnings and put new processes in place to avoid further incidents from occurring.
“We remain committed to delivering a fantastic service via Wanderers TV and we thoroughly appreciate the patience and help of supporters as we navigate this brand-new system.
“We have spoken to the Supporters’ Trust at length about the streaming service and we thank all affiliated supporters’ groups around the world for their feedback – all of which informs our future decision making.
“As ever, we ask supporters to get in touch if they have any feedback they would like to share about Wanderers TV and extend our thanks for your valued support.”
For the issues encountered at the Peterborough, Solihull and Stockport fixtures, part and pro-rata refunds have now been issued to all appropriate supporters.
We would also like to thank all fans who have supported the Club’s digital transformation across website, app and Wanderers TV this season. Since launch in the summer, we have had over three million website views at bwfc.co.uk, the Club’s official app has been downloaded over 8,300 times and almost 14,000 match passes have been purchased across all games.
If you would like to get in contact about refunds or with general feedback regarding Wanderers TV, please email email@example.com.
Thank you for your ongoing support.