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USDGC Final Round Technical Issues

By Baker Helton

USDGC PPV Viewers, 

Thank you for purchasing the USDGC coverage package. We’re writing to apologize for two technical issues with the USDGC Final Round live stream that occurred on Saturday, October 9. We are disappointed that, as a result, some viewers missed crucial moments of the action and we want to address those issues with you head on. The two issues were distinct, and we have been working since to determine what happened. Here’s what we know, and what our plan is to address it.

First, there was a widespread internet outage in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area that affected the control room of our DGN studios headquartered there early in the round. This caused the team on the ground in Rock Hill to lose connection with the control room from just before the lead card played Hole 3 until the lead card was on the green of Hole 4. This outage may have affected some viewers longer depending on which app you were streaming from, as the apps had to reboot and restart the live stream. 

Second, later in the round there was a spike in viewership that, as we currently understand it, triggered our livestream vendor to restrict viewership levels of the stream, as they’ve reported to us. This issue is harder to diagnose and was unfortunately out of our control as it was happening. Our vendor, Vimeo, provides the content delivery network (CDN) that formats and delivers our video for streaming across all apps and platforms. They are reporting that the issue at the end of the round stemmed from an automated system response meant to protect the broadcast from an attack triggered by the spike in viewership, subsequently stopping the stream for some viewers. We will know more soon. We have heard varying reports of the length of time before viewers were able to find the stream again – from refreshing and reconnecting immediately, to not being able to connect until after the finish, to seeing the finish in its entirety, uninterrupted. While some viewers were not affected, we are extremely disappointed and frustrated that the issue affected any of you because we know these were crucial moments of the event that you were not able to view live.

That’s what we know. Here’s what we’ve done so far, and what we will continue to do.

As soon as we were aware of the issue, we worked to make the content available. We immediately worked to restream the final holes for viewers that had issues, and posted the full round replay last night as soon as it had transcoded, to allow for a rewatch. The shot-by-shot post production video will also be posted today and because the footage was recorded on the cameras, will be unaffected by the outages. You can find all of this content under the PPV package that you’ve already purchased, and it will continue to be exclusive to you for the 30-day window as promised.

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We are working quickly and intently to understand more about this issue in order to mitigate the chances of a similar result in the future, address the problem with our livestream partner, and rebuild trust for all customers in the DGN product. We’re also working to improve our redundancy systems to ensure that viewers are more insulated from any outages or issues stemming from the Milwaukee studio. In the meantime, I want to let you know that, if you were affected, we will make it right. 

We are gathering data that allows us to identify accounts that saw issues during the final holes and playoff. Therefore, please email so we can understand and verify the issues of your viewing experience. I will personally make sure our team resolves each case and that we do all we can to find a solution that restores trust in our team and company. 

I understand the specific frustration that some viewers have expressed about having these issues with a PPV event. We’ve delivered over 30 live events this season without an issue of this nature, and without PPV. As you may know, covering this event required us to use the PPV system. We invested those funds into the broadcast, but entirely understand why it feels extra frustrating to see stream issues with a PPV broadcast.

Our team worked incredibly hard to deliver the highest level of live disc golf content we ever have with the USDGC. We invested heavily in this product, bringing together the biggest live media team (40 total people, 32 on site, 8 off site) that we’ve ever utilized. We had two control rooms, we delivered over 60 individual videos of content and a bonus live stream. We’ve provided next day post-production videos and an array of talented commentators throughout the week to help share the experience with you. 

While we are very proud of this content, which is all available in the USDGC PPV collections, we are frustrated with, and sorry about, the issues regarding live delivery. We look forward to hearing from you, helping to make this right, and I hope you return to watch live disc golf with us again in the future. 


Jeff Spring