Attempting to put a little distance between itself and the rest of the pack in the now-heated race for virtual MVPD economic survival, Sling TV issued a statement to FierceCable on Monday, boasting that its virtual pay-TV platform “had a solid experience” during Sunday night’s season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
The Sling TV rep made this claim as reports surfaced that rival DirecTV Now had live-streaming issues during the season-seven premiere of the HBO show, which attracted 16 million viewers Sunday, over 10 million of which tuned into the live premiere broadcast.
A representative for DirecTV Now operator AT&T released a confusing statement that seemed to indicate that the v-MVPD didn’t experience technical trouble. However, numerous social media reports from users—as well as outage tracker DownDetector.com—offered a conflicting narrative for the seven-month-old DirecTV Now service. Users complained that they lost access to all DirecTV Now channels, with four-digit error messages appearing on their screens.
HBO itself also had server trouble stemming from its Latin American operations.
Sling’s boast is a bit ironic, but also reveals that significant infrastructure investments made over the last two years by operator Dish Network have paid off.
Sling TV, of course, endured a number of similar technical issues in its first year, famously melting down in a March Madness Final Four game featuring Wisconsin and Duke. After making an earnest attempt to iron out those bugs, the Dish Network virtual platform still had trouble on Roku devices when season five of GOT debuted on April 12, 2015.
Now serving more than 2 million subscribers 26 months later, according to analysts’ estimates, Sling TV escaped Sunday’s GOT premiere with little drama.