DirecTV said a glitch affecting HD set-top boxes was the reason eight channels, including Fox News and CNN, went dark across its pay-TV footprint last week.
However, with the election set for Tuesday night, some customers took to DirecTV message boards to suggest the issue had more sinister causes.
“What happened to Fox News. This is the only News source in my household and I’m very aggravated that it is being censored! Please provide an explanation why the only conservative news source is in ‘Technical Difficulty’. If it’s being censored I will discontinue my service,” a customer wrote on the DTV USA Forum page.
Added another poster: “Fox News is intentionally blacked out for the second day in a row by dishonest DirecTV employees. It’s no coincidence that this happens TWICE in the week before the election -- when it hasn’t happened in at least a year prior, if ever. Hey DirecTV, we are not stupid (but apparently you are).”
According to AT&T, the glitch actually impacted eight channels, with access also lost for BBC World News, Comedy Central, Fusion, the Golf Channel, NBC Sports and Ovation – were lost due to a technical issue. Compounding the perceived slight, of course, was probably the fact that MSNBC wasn’t impacted.
It should be noted that the standard-definition of Fox News was never impacted by the outage.
“With the exception of Fusion and BBC World News, we continued to provide the standard definition (SD) versions of these channels to our customers. We proactively reached out to customers via social and online channels to help ensure that they understood how to view the content," AT&T said in a statement. The HD versions of these channels for most customers were back online early Friday afternoon CT. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience."