DIRECTV subscribers have been without 60 Tegna-owned local channels now for 13 days and their frustration has clearly reached a boiling point, particularly football fans who yesterday missed their second Sunday of games.
While Dish customers are also upset that they lost 164 Nexstar-owned local channels on December 2, they seem more resigned to their situation, perhaps because Dish engages in far more carriage battles than any other provider. (The satcaster is now missing 223 channels in eight different fee fights).
But DIRECTV, which is owned by AT&T, normally settles its differences with programmers before a blackout occurs, or perhaps within days after it begins. DIRECTV subscribers are not used to being without their favorite channels for this long, and it shows in their comments over the last 24 hours here and on social media sites such as Twitter. The tweets and posts are far more angry, and more numerous, than the Dish-related comments.
(I’ve also received far more angry e-mails from DIRECTV’s customers compared to Dish, and some of the e-mails are so profane and borderline threatening, I’m not going to print them here.)
“We’re screwed! No football! Just sucks,” tweeted ‘Rebecca Lodell,’ a DIRECTV subscriber.
“This is getting old real fast!!! I just receive my Bill for December, which means AT&T Prices have increased. WOW,” Emmett Evans wrote in the TV Answer Man forum.
“Joke company. Joke excuse. I don’t know why anyone would continue to pay @DIRECTV for a service they are not providing. They are under breach of contract. Dont pay the bill and cancel their “service,” wrote ‘JJHouston’ on Twitter.
“@DIRECTV , no. I don’t believe you really do share our frustration. Did all your people miss NFL & College Football? Did you have to look your kids in the face as you told them Rudolph and Frosty was cancelled? How about recurring @CBS serial shows now aired but missed? GTF out.”
@DIRECTV BYE BYE this is absolutely unbelievable 2 weeks and guess what we don’t need your nfl ticket anymore so bye! You and @TEGNA should be ashamed of yourselves! You greedy SOB’S! #ByeByeDirectTV,” wrote ‘Kujsouth.
While DIRECTV seems to be getting blamed more often for the dispute, some subscribers say both the satcaster and Tegna are responsible.
“Your both to blame and your both garbage, but you will both continue making millions while pretending to care about everybody,” added ‘Brian Chmielewski, the @chimreaper19. “As we miss Sunday Night Football for the 3rd time, once the NFL season ends I will be heading to YouTube TV again.”
“All the money I spend on @DIRECTV every month, this is unacceptable! @TEGNA and @DIRECTV need to get their s— together! CBS is a local tv network and should never be compromised in my subscription service! #frustrated,” said ‘Crawdad.’
It remains to be seen if DIRECTV’s subscribers will carry through on threats to cancel. For a variety of reasons, that’s easier said than done. But if this battle goes much longer, both Tegna and DIRECTV might suffer some collateral damage in lost viewers and subscribers respectively.
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— Phillip Swann