HBO Go crashes under heavy 'Game of Thrones' demand

By Doug Gross CNN | 4/7/2014, 11:05 a.m.
A rush of viewers onto the cable network's mobile streaming app for the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" caused ...
Season two of HBO's epic fantasy drama "Game of Thrones," the television adaptation of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, debuts this Sunday. Watching along with the die-hard fans that helped make the book series popular will be a hoard of new, not-necessarily-nerdy fans. Poised to become a crossover hit before the first episode even aired, the show was buoyed by passionate fans of the books who evangelized this particular epic to non-believers for years. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Winter was coming, but for many HBO Go users, it didn't arrive Sunday night as expected.

A rush of viewers onto the cable network's mobile streaming app for the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" caused it to crash, making it inaccessible for many.

"HBO Go did experience issues due to overwhelming demand around the premiere of Game of Thrones," the network said in a statement. HBO is a subsidiary of Time Warner, which also owns CNN.

The Internet, as might be expected, was less than thrilled.

"You had one job, HBO Go ... ," wrote M.G. Siegler, a partner at Google Ventures, in a series of tweets that included an image of his screen with the persistent "Accessing HBO Go" message.

It's the second time in less than a month that the app has been clobbered by heavy demand. The March 9 finale of HBO's "True Detective" saw lots of users similarly denied access.

Sunday night's problems were cleared up by 1 a.m. ET Monday -- or about the time "Game of Thrones" was finishing up on the West Coast.

"Thanks for your patience #GOT fans. The service is now restored," HBO posted on its Twitter account for HBO Go.

While much of the social-media outcry involved Red Wedding-worthy wailing, some folks were joking about another issue that's widely suspected but hard to quantify.

"So, like, at least 90 percent of the people trying to watch HBO GO instead of watching GOT on TV are using somebody else's login, right?" tweeted Linda Holmes, a writer for NPR's pop culture blog, Monkey See.

Walter Hickey, a lifestyle writer for FiveThirtyEight, joked -- we think -- about that very thing.

"Hey, come on HBO Go," he wrote, "one of my roommate's parents [grandparents?] are paying good money for this."

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