HBO and Sling TV – A Marriage Made in Heaven?

HBO and Sling TV

HBO and Sling TV

This was supposed to be the honeymoon period. The time when everything goes great and everyone is all smiles.

Sling TV pulled off quite the coup recently, by reaching an agreement with HBO to become the first live internet TV streaming service to offer access to HBO’s linear and video-on-demand library.  Just in time for the Game of Thrones season premiere, this was a great opportunity to grab some of those loyal HBO fans and get them engaged on Sling TV’s live, streaming TV service.

We’ve highlighted previously that we’re big Sling TV fans, and the recent marriage with HBO is their most impressive courtship yet, but things got off to quite a rocky start.

Trouble in Paradise?

On Sunday, as Sling TV’s Roku device users were frantically trying to download their new HBO app prior to the start of Game of Thrones,  they were met with some “technical difficulties. Most notably, users experienced issues getting their Sling TV app to load. For those who are die-hard Game of Thrones fans, this was a rather large faux pas on Sling TV’s part.

We interviewed one frustrated Sling TV customer who is a recent cord cutter.  Peter from Charlotte had the following to say:

Needless to say I was more than disappointed to miss the first episode of this GOT (Game of Thrones) season. It is the first issue I’ve had with Sling TV since signing up in February.  I only added HBO this past Friday.

I cut out cable as part of a recent move based on the premise that all the TV I wanted to watch was available via streaming. While I’m still a believer, part of me is worried I made the switch too soon.’

Did Peter Cut the Cord Too Soon?

Peter brings up a question that most cord cutters ask themselves at least once after quitting cable.  Did I quit cable too soon? A lot of the angst with cord cutting is there isn’t a complete, simple solution to replace your current cable package. Sling TV was quickly bridging that gap for us, by packaging live programming (CNN, ESPN, HGTV) with premium content (HBO) for a fraction the cost of cable.

But can we still trust Sling TV?  Is this another in a series of frustrating blunders by Sling TV or just a speed bump on the road to a cable free existence?

Stick With Sling TV

To Peter and all the other Sling TV cord cutters out there, stick with Sling TV.

Sling TV still represents the future of TV. Cable and satellite still represent the past. Sling TV is “VHS.” Cable and satellite are “Betamax.” (side note – my family were big BETA users growing up and at one point in time I was the only child in my entire school that had two Betamax VCRs).

And Sling TV deals with their problems and issues a bit differently than their cable and satellite brethren.  Some may say a bit more transparent?  Roger Lynch, the CEO of Sling TV, took to the Sling TV blog for a public apology soon after the HBO Game of Thrones snafu.

We tend to support and believe CEO’s like Roger, who publicly acknowledge their challenges and focus on improving their product. When is the last time a cable CEO reached out to their audience when your cable signal was lost for a few hours?  Personal story – my cable line screwed up during the Super Bowl last year.  THE SUPER BOWL. internet use statistics My cable company (large provider in the southeast of the US) just told me it was “my fault,” and “I must have done something to break it.”

Good for you, Roger.

Yes, you may have missed the first half of the season premiere of GOT, but it could be worse.  Do you want to know how?  Next time it snows and your satellite goes out … or your neighbor digs a hole in his backyard and clips a cable line, give us a ring and ask us what worse looks like.

I’m pretty sure we’ll be laughing while we watch the next episode of GOT on Sling TV.


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