HBO Go has now suffered back-to-back outages for major events, as servers crashed during the Game of Thrones premiere on Sunday night.
The outages lasted throughout the premiere, and weren’t fully resolved until after 1 a.m. Eastern time. HBO blamed the outages on “issues due to overwhelming demand” in a statement last night. That’s exactly what caused HBO’s servers to buckle last month during the finale of True Detective.
Strangely, HBO made light of the ongoing outages by encouraging users to “send a raven” and watch the premiere through their cable providers’ on-demand portals. The remark seemed a bit flippant given that HBO wasn’t able to provide a service that its customers were paying for, especially after last month’s streaming debacle.
Or maybe that was the point. It’s generally accepted that many HBO Go subscribers share their passwords with friends and family. HBO has said that it’s not looking to shut out freeloaders, at least for now, but repeat outages suggest that the company isn’t breaking its back to accommodate them either.
The problem is that paying customers are being made to suffer as well, prompting some pundits to suggest that HBO should get serious about cracking down on password sharing. Being able to watch HBO shows through a cable provider’s on demand portal isn’t helpful if you’re away from home, in a room that doesn’t have a cable box or looking to get a jump on the west coast air time. Last night, all those users were trapped beyond the wall.