DIRECTV will issue refunds or credits to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers who were unable to watch yesterday’s 1 p.m. ET games due to technical glitches, the company acknowledged in a statement today.
“We recognize we didn’t meet expectations on Sunday for customers looking to stream some of the games, and we want to apologize. While it won’t bring the games back, we plan to reach out to those affected to automatically reimburse them for week two,” the satcaster said.
The refunds will come after DIRECTV was forced to issue credits to Ticket subscribers who couldn’t watch games during week one action, also because of technical problems. It’s unclear what reimbursement DIRECTV will provide to those affected in week two, or what it provided after the week one snafu. The Sunday Ticket plans start at $293 for the entire season.
The technical issues for both weeks, which users say included buffering, login difficulties and various error messages, seems to have only affected subscribers who were watching the Ticket online. (DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket satellite subscribers get free access to the streaming version as well; it’s also available to some non-DIRECTV subscribers as a separate subscription.) Subscribers who have watched the Ticket on satellite have not been affected, according to user posts.
The streaming outages yesterday began shortly after the 1 p.m. ET kickoff and were not fixed until around 4 p.m. ET when the day’s second tier of games began.
“Today’s NFL Sunday Ticket games have returned for streaming. We will continue to monitor, apologize for the inconvenience and thank our customers for their patience,” DIRECTV said yesterday in a statement.
DIRECTV, which has offered the Ticket via streaming for several years (and on satellite since 1994), has had online difficulties with the package before. And that’s not uncommon with live streaming in general, particularly for high-profile events.
Despite the technical issues, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he believes the next Sunday Ticket contract will go to a streaming company. DIRECTV has said it does not plan to bid to renew its exclusive contract, which expires after the 2022 season.
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— Phillip Swann