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Charter Drops OTT Ball on Cleveland's First Pro Sports Championship in 52 Years

19 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ stunning 93-89 Game 7 win over the Golden State Warriors June 19 earned the NBA franchise its first pro championship — ending the city’s 52-year drought without a major sports title.

If you were a Charter Spectrum TV Plus subscriber, however, you missed the final minutes when the over-the-top video service went blank. The technical glitch once again underscored online TV’s inability to handle surges in live streaming traffic during high-profile events.

“We’re sorry, we’re unable to load channels right now. Please try again later,” read on the on-screen message.

Charter wasn’t alone with technical glitches.

HBO Now reported problems streaming “Battle of the Bastards” episode of “Game of Thrones.” 

“We're aware members are experiencing technical difficulties tonight. We hope to resolve this ASAP,” HBO Now tweeted.

Similar snafus have dogged Dish Network’s Sling TV — the first standalone online TV service — during high-profile events such as last year's mens college basketball March Madness and AMC Networks’ premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead,” among others.

Sling TV and Dish have attributing the issues to interconnection problems compounded by peak viewer demands.

“As we work to implement fixes, there is a chance that some customers will experience further issues. We will continue to work around the clock until a solve is firmly in place,” Sling said at the time.

With Charter Spectrum TV Plus operating on the cabler’s proprietary broadband network, technical glitches have been few. But with Spectrum TV — unlike Sling TV — streaming the NBA Finals, a series Golden State led 3-1, the Cavaliers’ three-game win streak to capture the title spiked online viewer interest.

A representative attributed the problem as a “local area code issue” involving compatibility between the Spectrum TV Plus app and Roku, the streaming media device Charter includes for free with the $20 monthly OTT subscription.

“I don’t know what the issue is or how long it takes to repair it, but we are aware of it, and we do have our technicians working on it,” the rep said.

When told that the service worked fine before — and after — the final key minutes of the game, the rep said the problem had been intermittent over the past few hours and could occur again. She admitted viewer demand over the course of the game could have contributed to the problem, but that officially, the exact cause for the outage was unknown.

“It’s been an ongoing issue for the last few hours.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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