Football fans struggle to watch the season’s first NFL Sunday Ticket game due to issues with DirecTV’s website and app. While some users (including myself) report seeing an error page when accessing the Sunday Ticket website, others say they can’t even sign in.
To make matters even worse, those who subscribe to the newly-launched NFL Plus subscription (which is supposed to let you watch live in-market games) say the accompanying app isn’t loading game scores, and many users are also struggling to get their streams to work.
Even football fans watching NFL RedZone on Sling TV and YouTube TV weren’t spared from outages. Sling claims it has since brought RedZone back online but notes viewers using a Samsung device released from 2017 to 2019 may still be affected.
Users are also reporting a range of other issues, with some getting locked out of the stream and receiving an error message that says they must be in an NFL stadium to watch. Right now, it’s unclear what exactly’s causing the issues with the Sunday Ticket stream, which started several hours leading up to the game and is still ongoing.
The concept of NFL Sunday Ticket was primarily designed by Jon Taffer during his three-year term on the council of NFL Enterprises, along with NFL Chief of Marketing Michael Miller.
NFL Sunday Ticket was founded in 1994 and was initially obtainable on C band and Ku band satellites, for which the receiving dishes are more extensive. DirecTV would become curious in the 1994 season, airing the NFL Sunday Ticket package in the previous five weeks of the regular season before commencing to circulate the box in full the following year.
DirecTV is under contract to hold NFL Sunday Ticket until the end of the 2022 season. However, the service and its majority owner, AT&T, are on the record as challenging the worth of the package with less than half of the subscribers DirecTV would need to break even using Sunday Ticket, plus the league is adding more games outside the traditional Sunday afternoon windows. In the 2021 season, CNBC informed that the club was curious about collaborating with a streaming service for future rights and a stake in NFL Network.
As noted by several users, issues like these aren’t uncommon when streaming the game with DirecTV, which has owned the rights to Sunday Ticket since 1994. Unfortunately, these rights expire at the end of this football season, and several companies, like Google and Apple, are reportedly looking into securing Sunday Ticket. While they may be able to do football fans some justice by (hopefully) providing a more reliable stream, it still won’t solve the broader issue of sports streaming.
“We’re aware some consumers are incapable of accessing NFL Sunday Ticket online or via the app,” DirecTV spokesperson Alisha Laventure said in a statement. “Our teams are toiling to resolve this, but we advise satellite customers to watch on TV in the meantime.”
At around 5:20 PM ET, DirecTV started replying to some users’ complaints on Twitter, noting the issue has “been resolved” and that users can “return to watching this afternoon’s out-of-market games.” It appears users are still having problems, however.