DirecTV to reimburse NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers for Week 2 fumble


One of the most frustrating things about live sports in 2022 is that there still are exclusives to limit where, when, and how you can watch NFL games. To wit: NFL Sunday Ticket, which allows subscribers to watch out-of-market games, remains solely on DirecTV. And DirecTV has had problems delivering a quality product — which is even more annoying considering that it’s not just a subscription service like YouTube TV or even NFL+.

So when NFL Sunday Ticket failed again this week (Week 1 games had problems, too), subscribers were, to say the least, unhappy.

For its part, DirecTV at least acknowledged the issues in real time on Sunday afternoon, tweeting the following at 3 p.m. ET: “We’re aware customers are temporarily unable to stream NFL Sunday Ticket through the app, and will share more when we restore the programming.”

That does little for someone who paid to watch the game while it was happening, of course.

DirecTV followed up around 10 p.m. ET, after all games, save for Sunday Night Football (available nationwide on NBC), had been finished. “Hello. Today’s NFL Sunday Ticket games have returned for streaming. We will continue to monitor, we apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate your patience, and please stay tuned for more updates.”

That’s too little, too late, of course. And on Monday afternoon, DirecTV announced that it would reach out to customers who were affected and offered to reimburse them for the trouble.

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.

— DIRECTV Help (@DIRECTVhelp) September 19, 2022

That in and of itself is the right thing to do. DirecTV apologized. It acknowledged the problem. And it offered perhaps not a solution, but at least a bit of restitution for a service that costs at minimum just shy of $300.

It also adds more kindling to what should be a roaring fire of discussion about where NFL Sunday Ticket may be headed starting in 2023, as the rights for distribution are up for grabs. Every major company you can think of has been rumored to be in the running, from YouTube TV to Disney to Amazon, which itself already has the lock on Thursday Night Football, though it’s had some growing pains, too.

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