DirecTV again messes up with NFL Sunday Ticket

DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket stream has gone down for the second week in a row. Football fans across Twitter complained that they could not log in or received an error message when trying to load the stream.

“Today’s NFL Sunday Ticket games have returned for streaming,” DirecTV said. “We will continue to monitor, apologize for the inconvenience, and thank our customers for their patience.” When reached for comment, DirecTV pointed The Verge to the statement it posted on Twitter.

Sunday Ticket subscribers experienced similar issues last week when it went down for several hours. It also didn’t help that several other services that air live football, including YouTube TV, Sling TV, and the NFL app, also suffered outages. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like any other services are experiencing problems this week.

After this football season, NFL Sunday Ticket will have a new home. DirecTV’s rights to Sunday Ticket expire this year, with Google and Apple reportedly in the running to secure them.

Former Deadspin reporter Timothy Burke said on Twitter that the service started having issues at about 2 PM ET, and all streams were dark after that. DirecTV acknowledged the problem in a tweet and later shared an update at around 4 PM ET saying that the games went back online but that it would “continue to monitor” the streams.

Sunday Ticket subscribers can’t see the NFL games they’re paying to stream for the second weekend in a row. It looks like subscribers continued to have problems after this. Many users said the Sunday Ticket app blacked out certain games even though they weren’t available locally.

The vision of NFL Sunday Ticket was primarily created by Jon Taffer in his three-year term on the board of NFL Enterprises, with Michael Miller, NFL Chief of Marketing. NFL Sunday Ticket was established in 1994 and was originally available on C band and Ku band satellites, for which the receiving receptacles are more extensive.

DirecTV would become interested in the 1994 season, broadcasting the NFL Sunday Ticket package in the prior five weeks of the regular season before beginning to air the box in full the following year.

The service became open to cable systems in Canada, with the first to deliver the service being Rogers Cable in Ontario. However, the exclusivity of Sunday Ticket to cable providers resulted in a complaint from ExpressVu to the CRTC, striving to force the NFL to open the assistance to Canadian satellite providers; the CRTC overlooked the complaint.

DirecTV is under contract to carry NFL Sunday Ticket until the end of the 2022 season. However, the service and its bulk owner, AT&T, are on the record as questioning the package’s value. Less than half of DirecTV subscribers would need to break even using Sunday Ticket, plus the league was adding more games outside the traditional Sunday afternoon windows.

On the opening weekend of the 2021 season, CNBC noted that the league was curious about partnering with streaming assistance for future rights and a stake in NFL Network. However, it would end DirecTV’s relationship with the NFL after nearly three decades.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed that the league would choose a streaming service to host Sunday Ticket, with the winning service being revealed that fall. Leading streaming providers Apple Inc., Amazon, and ESPN, are all contenders to succeed in the contract. That month, the New York Times informed us that YouTube had also proffered a bid for Sunday Ticket.