We entered this week with a lot of deserved discussion about service issues during the Duke/Michigan State NCAA semi final game Saturday night. I thought I’d share a bit more about what happened, the degree to which it happened and most importantly, what we are doing to continue to improve our service.
Here’s what happened
We experienced the convergence of two events:
1) there was a high number of new customer signups just as the first game was beginning
2) we received an extremely high volume of concurrent streams.
While we planned – and staffed – for both scenarios, these factors revealed a bottleneck that triggered errors for some customers Saturday night. These issues impacted a small fraction of the total number watching the games on Sling TV—although that is no consolation for those who were affected.
But, it was still too many on an important night that had to be right. By working in real time during the game, we were able to rebalance the loads delivered through our network providers ahead of the evening’s second game between Wisconsin and Kentucky. Although no streaming service can be completely error free, this eliminated the vast majority of errors that we, and our customers, were seeing.
Here’s how we are improving
Since our launch eight weeks ago, we have made adjustments to improve our service in major and minor ways, including how we manage load, handle new customer sign ups, and address ‘errors’ in real time among other things. As we approach the start of our third month, our continued measures to address the situation have shown a steady proportional decline in issues and improvement in overall system stability.
Because we are dedicated to continuous improvements, we will deliver an update to our apps across all Sling TV devices this week. This should not only improve the overall experience, it will also help improve how we manage high volumes of viewership.
While we disappointed some of our viewers Saturday night, I know from the inside looking out that our ability to provide you with a great entertainment experience has only grown as a result.
If you had a rough go at it with us on Saturday, please accept my apologies. If you are having a great experience, thank you for your business and know we are working everyday to continue delivering that great experience. If you are on the fence, give us a try. I’m confident you’ll like all that Sling TV has to offer.
CEO of Sling TV