CEO of Sling, Roger Lynch, said that Sling TV overcame its technical issues that it faced for its season premieres and highly watched events like NCAA Tournament basketball games. “We don’t have those issues anymore. There are more corner cases that we have to knock out. In certain situations, a customer is having some problem, and we have to find out the root cause and how we can work with our CDN partners to knock out anymore corner cases. So much of what we do now is more whack-a-mole rather than big systemic issues,” Lynch said in a press release.
He further added, “If you were going to architect a network to deliver video, you wouldn’t architect the internet the way it was architected. It wasn’t architected for synchronous video delivery. And so a lot of effort goes into designing systems to counteract the way the internet was designed with its random discard of packets and things like that that happen in routers.”
Analysts estimate that Sling TV lost around 50,000 subscribers this year, whereas Dish Network in total lost around 281,000 customers in the second quarter. Dish Chairman and CEO, Charlie Ergen said that the reduced speed in the growth of the platform in the second quarter might be due to the “seasonality” of OTT services.
“There is a seasonality, I think, we knew going in. And we’re not shocked by it. But there is a seasonality to an OTT product that’s not there in linear because it’s one of the great advantages of an OTT product. It’s very easy to sign on or sign off a month at a time. So as people go on vacation. Until the Olympics start and football season starts up, there’s probably not compelling content on in the summer. So you do have a seasonality to it that’s maybe more exaggerated than we would see in linear TV where it’s kind of a hassle to turn on and off,” Ergen said.
About the upcoming launch of rival AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Lynch commented that “We obviously have always expected that we’re going to see more competition. I’ve been a little surprised that it’s taken this long for anyone to really launch. My expectation is that as new entrants enter this market, we’re just going to see faster growth over the top. Obviously, it’ll affect the market share that we have right now, but I don’t expect that it’s going to materially affect the growth of our business.”