Dish's Sling TV Experiences Issues During 'Game of Thrones' Premiere

Game of Thrones S05E01 Still 2 - H 2015
Courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones S05E01 Still 2 - H 2015

Some Sling TV subscribers were having a difficult time signing into the service during the April 12 premiere of HBO's drama series.

Dish's Sling TV added HBO to its slate of over-the-top programming on April 9, just in time for the fifth-season premiere of Game of Thrones, but some subscribers had a hard time accessing the show and other Sling channels on Sunday night.

Several customers posted on Twitter during the April 12 Game of Thrones premiere that they were having difficulty logging into their Sling TV accounts to stream TV. Others said they were experiencing delays accessing their programming. 

Sling addressed customers' concerns by making the first episode of Game of Thrones' fifth season available on VOD immediately after the show began airing. The company also responded to complaints via its Sling Answers Twitter account, noting that it was aware of the problem and working to fix it immediately. 

Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch also addressed the problems in a blog post. "Any stumbles tonight? A few," he noted in the post. "Most notably, we heard of (and experienced for ourselves) some Roku devices taking too long to load our app. Our teams are actively addressing this issue."

He also addressed how Sling has improved its service since launch. "Overall, we successfully delivered a great experience to the vast majority of our customers," he noted. "Where we truly improved was among those who may have experienced streaming errors in the past — we saw tremendous gains."

Not all customers had problems with HBO on Sling TV. Several people posted to Twitter that they were able to stream the episode without difficulty.

Meanwhile, HBO Now, which launched on April 7 ahead of the Game of Thrones premiere, appeared to work smoothly for customers.

Dish launched Sling TV in February as a $20 a month over-the-top streaming option for people unlikely to subscribe to cable. The service currently offers streaming of live sports via ESPN and other programming from channels including AMC and TNT. It costs an additional $15 a month to subscribe to HBO.

Some Sling customers experienced similar problems last weekend during the March Madness semi-final game between Duke and Michigan State. Lynch apologized for the problems in a blog post and explained that the service was working to improve how it handles high traffic loads and customer sign-ups.

"Because we are dedicated to continuous improvements, we will deliver an update to our apps across all Sling TV devices this week," he wrote. "This should not only improve the overall experience, it will also help improve how we manage high volumes of viewership."

April 12, 8:59 p.m. Updated to include Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch's blog post.