Q. I waited anxiously all week to watch the Dodgers/Mets game Friday (May 27) on DIRECTV’s new live 4K channel, channel 106. When it came time for the game to start, I kept getting a message that said “no signal.” I called DIRECTV and finally got a rep on the phone, who told me the game was blacked out. I explained that the message I usually get in those cases is “This game is blacked out in your area.” I was being told I had no signal. I then pushed her on why they would offer a game on their national live 4K channel if it was only available in a few markets, and of course she had no answer. My question, Mr. Answer Man, why was the game blacked out? — David, Fairfax, Virginia.
David, I understand your frustration and you’re not the only person who’s complaining that DIIRECTV’s 4K broadcasts of Major League Baseball games are being blacked out. I’ve received a handful of e-mails from readers who say they have run into blackouts as well.
Before I answer your question, though, a little background on DIRECTV and its 4K live channel.
The satcaster in April launched three 4K channels, including one (channel 106) that airs live events in the new picture format. Shortly after the launch, DIRECTV announced that it would air several Major League Baseball games in 4k this season, all produced by the MLB Network.
The game you note in your question was between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers and it was played on May 27. By the blackout rules of Major League Baseball, only the Los Angeles and New York markets should have been blacked out from seeing the game — in 4K, or on the regular MLB Network channel.
And guess what? The game was blacked out only in those two markets, and certainly not in yours, the Washington, D.C. area, according to Lorraine Fisher, a spokeswoman for the MLB Network.
“I looked into this…we did not have any record of blackout issues during (the Mets-Dodgers) game,” Fisher told me.
Based on your question, I believe that you had a connection issue that caused your 4K TV to display that you could not receive a signal on channel 106. Then, when you called DIRECTV’s customer service team, they incorrectly told you the game was blacked out in your area instead of trying to solve your real problem, the connection issue.
My educated guess is that other viewers who have complained of 4K MLB blackouts have experienced similar connection issues.
What could be the connection problem? That I don’t know, but I would suggest that if you have trouble again getting a signal on channel 106, call DIRECTV and ask them to come out to take a look at your set-up.
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