DIRECTV Now, which has suffered widespread outages and buffering in primetime for several days, experienced another meltdown during last night’s Rose Bowl on ESPN.
As Georgia and Oklahoma dueled in the fourth quarter, thousands of DIRECTV Now subscribers watching the game went berserk when their picture was suddenly replaced by a server error message.
According to customers who posted complaints on social media posts, they could not watch the rest of the game which was won by Georgia in double overtime, 54-48.
“Biggest day in college
#football & @directvnow servers go down for #RoseBowl overtime, are you kidding me! You may have HAD 1M subscribers but you can’t handle them!” Robert Duerstock tweeted, referring to AT&T’s recent announcement that DIRECTV Now had passed the one million subscriber mark. (AT&T owns the live streaming service.)
The problem seemed to affect users of multiple devices, including computers, the Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV, although some customers did post messages on Twitter that they were not experiencing picture issues.
However, other DIRECTV Now subscribers wrote on Twitter that the technical issues continued throughout the night, including during ESPN’s broadcast of the Sugar Bowl.
@DIRECTVNowHelp, the live streamer’s Twitter customer service page, seemed to confirm that early this morning when it began tweeting apologies to complaining customers.
“We do apologize for the streaming interruptions, we were having some issues and are working diligently to get them resolved. Thank you for your patience and we appreciate your business,” @DIRECTVNowHelp tweeted at 12;24 a.m. ET today.
Later in the morning, DIRECTV Now Help acknowledged that subscribers were being kicked off the server and apologized for that as well. However, the streamer said the server problem had then been fixed.
“We understand that you have been kicked off the server,” the live streamer told one angry subscriber at 1:05 a.m. ET. “Well we have resolved that. If you could please restart your device and try again. If you have anything else, please follow/DM us here and we can help. Thanks and have a Happy New Year.”
DownDetector.com, which tracks online outages, reported last night that 1,155 subscribers were complaining on social media at the same time at the height of the technical issues. That would suggest that a much larger number of subscribers were affected by the snafus.
For DIRECTV Now subscribers, the problems are nothing new of late. In the last 7-10 days, thousands of subscribers have posted messages on social media sites saying they have experienced picture buffering or outright outages.
Many subscribers say the problems seem to be happening largely in primetime when the greatest number of customers are using DIRECTV Now. Live streaming services historically suffer more technical issues when customer use rises, creating a greater strain on the service’s infrastructure.
DIRECTV Now recently offered a ‘one-year-anniversary’ promotion which enabled new customers to get its basic service for just $10 the first month. That could have driven more traffic to DIRECTV Now’s apps.
However, it should be noted that DIRECTV Now has had recurring technical issues since its debut on November 30, 2016, although most subscribers say it has improved in recent months.
While some users of the WatchESPN app last night reported a few technical issues during the games, the number of complaints were relatively minor, particularly compared to DIRECTV Now. Subscribers to rival services such as Sling TV and Play Station Vue also did not note any widespread issues last night.
— Phillip Swann