Not even through its second week, DirecTV Now has already been subject to flurries of customer venting on social media, with the AT&T virtual pay-TV service getting called out for everything from temporary service outages to blacking out NFL games on its licensed channels.
On Friday, for example, a number of users took to Twitter complaining that they were only able to access an error screen on the service.
AT&T reps didn’t immediately respond to FierceCable’s inquiry for comment. But the
@DirecTVNowHelp Twitter handle did put out this message to affected customers: “We appreciate your patience! We're fixing our streaming issues now.”
Customers also vented on Twitter about streaming troubles on Dec. 1, the day after DirecTV Now launched. “We experienced an issue last night that prevented some customers from streaming. Engineers resolved the issue and we haven’t experienced it since,” an AT&T rep said at the time.
It’s unclear how widespread these outages have been and how many customers have been affected. Certainly, DirecTV Now isn’t the only virtual MVPD to experience livestreaming issues. Dish Network’s Sling TV, which has been in the market for 19 months, has experienced numerous outages, and its app remains virtually unplayable on platforms like the Xbox One.
As AT&T engineers work to resolve bugs, its marketing team must figure out a way to explain rather arcane program licensing terms to customers. As TV Predictions noted, not every user is aware that there are restrictions to what NFL games DirecTV Now can show.
For example, viewers in Washington, D.C., complained of being blacked out of a local game between the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles over the weekend, with AT&T unable to make everyone aware of arcane rules that keep local games off Fox.