News-Updated Below With AT&T Statement
DIRECTV Now: Still Having NFL Blackout Issues
By Phillip Swann
Washington, D.C. (December 18, 2016) - DIRECTV Now's mysterious blackout of NFL games continued for a second Sunday afternoon today, according to social media posts by subscribers, and DIRECTV Now's Twitter customer service team.
For the first hour of today's action, DIRECTV Now customers posted angry complaints on Twitter, Facebook and other message forums that they couldn't watch the games on Fox. They said on-screen messages from DIRECTV Now said Fox NFL games were not available in their area.
@DIRECTVNowHelp, the streamer's Twitter customer service team, gave conflicting reasons for the blackouts, once saying it was a "network issue," presumably meaning Fox, and then later saying it was league blackout policy.
However, at around 2 p.m. ET today, some subscribers said the games finally finally started to show up on their screens. But others said they still couldn't watch.
Update #1: Several subscribers said after 3 p.m. ET that they were able to watch the games, although one added the picture kept freezing.
And @DIRECTVNowHelp tweeted at 3:38 p.m. ET that the blackout issue had been "resolved."
But not everyone agrees.
Update #2, Monday, Dec. 19: After the tweet from @DIRECTVNowHelp saying the issue had been fixed, the number of online complaints fell to a very few. However, some fans of the Atlanta Falcons noted that the end of their game against the San Francisco 49ers was abruptly cut off for unexplained reasons.
TVPredictions.com has asked AT&T and Fox for comments and will report back here when we get more information.
Update #3: AT&T this morning released this statement:
"Some DIRECTV Now customers may have been unable to stream early portions of the Sunday Lions v. Giants game on their respective local Fox station. We quickly resolved the issue and we thank our customers for their patience."
AT&T did not explain what the "issue" was, nor comment on whether the problem affected any other Fox game.
DIRECTV Now was unable to show NFL games on Fox last Sunday as well. (Note: DIRECTV Now does not yet carry CBS, which also airs Sunday afternoon NFL games.)
AT&T last Tuesday acknowledged to TVPredictions.com an "issue" that prevented DIRECTV Now subscribers from watching NFL games last Sunday, but said it was confident the problem has been resolved. (AT&T never explained what the "issue" was.")
However, DIRECTV Now subscribers today began posting messages on Twitter before opening kickoff that they couldn't watch the Fox pre-game show at 12 p.m. ET. Then, when the games began, more customers took to Twitter to say they couldn't watch them, either.
Today's incident is just the latest in a series of technical snafus since DIRECTV NOW launched on November 30. The streaming service has also had two major outages, problems showing regional sports channels, login issues, and constant picture buffering and freezing.
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