Fans are sceptical of the new streaming service HBO Now, launched by HBO on Tuesday, as they feel it might crash while 'Games of Thrones' season 5 premieres on Sunday on the network.
The new streaming service enables viewers to watch the channel's library of movies and original shows online without the need for a cable subscription. It was launched on Tuesday for Apple and Optimum Online and operators were in a hurry to get it up and running in time for Sunday's season premiere of 'Game of Thrones', HBO's most-watched series.
But since HBO Now is the channel's only streaming service and with so many people tuning into the premiere, a lot is at stake for HBO's parent company, Time Warner Inc. "If there were any kind of glitch it would be extremely disappointing," said Tuna Amobi, an analyst with S&P Capital IQ. "It's not that they couldn't overcome it, but I think that experience shows that once you have that kind of false start, so to speak, it takes a lot longer to rebound from that."
The "false start" refers to GoT's season 4 premiere a year ago when HBO's live streaming service 'HBO Go' was filled with glitches and crashes and fans haven't forgotten that experience. In fact many took to tweet their concerns so that the same isn't repeated this time around, though some were sure that HBO will not learn from their past mistakes.
Meanwhile, HBO is taking all the precautions necessary not to let its viewers down this time. For HBO Now, the channel has outsourced the streaming technology to MLB Advanced Media. But 'Game of Thrones' gets a TV audience of about 19 million and that's a large number to mess with.
Amobi also says that they have tried to minimize the damage by limiting their service only to Apple and Optimum. They are even offering a 30-day free trial for their customers.
So 'Games of Thrones' fans are all keeping their fingers crossed to have a better experience this time.