By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I tried to watch the NFL RedZone channel yesterday on DIRECTV and it wouldn’t come on channel 211. Kept getting error messages. I had ordered it on the Sports Pack but no RedZone during the games! I called customer service and they didn’t know what I was talking about. Did other people have this problem? — Marty, Nashville.
Marty, you are not alone. A large number of DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream subscribers yesterday vented their frustration on social media, in e-mails to yours truly, and messages at DIRECTV community boards that they couldn’t watch the NFL RedZone channel although they had ordered it via DIRECTV’s $14.99 a month Sports Pack. The glitch was particularly embarrassing because DIRECTV added the RedZone earlier this year to help appease football fans who might consider defecting after the company lost the NFL Sunday Ticket contract to Google. But on the first Sunday of the 2023 season, the RedZone became a minus for many, not a plus.

I could post literally dozens more; in fact, the complaints on X (formerly Twitter) are still coming in today, more than 24 hours after the games started yesterday.

It’s unclear how many DIRECTV subscribers were unable to watch the NFL RedZone channel, but it’s evident from scanning social media that quite a few couldn’t. (Some subscribers said they could watch the RedZone on DIRECTV’s mobile apps, but not on TV. Others said they tried to order it yesterday but couldn’t reach a customer service person.) DIRECTV’s X customer service team issued scores of apologies but never explained what happened.

The TV Answer Man has asked DIRECTV’s communications department for a comment and will report back here if we receive one.

Update: A DIRECTV spokesman said this on Wednesday: “We’d encourage anyone who experienced an issue to contact customer service.

Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann