DirecTV Now outage only affected program guide, AT&T says

AT&T's John Stankey speaks at the launch announcement of DirecTV Now on Nov. 28, 2016. Image: AT&T / YouTube
John Stankey, CEO AT&T Entertainment Group, touts DirecTV Now ahead of its launch. Image: AT&T

A service interruption experienced by DirecTV Now customers over the weekend only affected the virtual MVPD service’s program guide, and users were still able to access programming channels, reps for operator AT&T told FierceCable.

On Friday and Saturday, DirecTV Now customers were unable to view program information for roughly half of the channels. Customers were able to access those channels despite program information being unavailable,” AT&T said in an emailed statement. 

RELATED: AT&T exec on DirecTV Now launch: Not as many problems as expected

DirecTV watchdog Phil Swann first reported on the weekend service problem, noting that even though the channels were watchable to users who scrolled through the channel list network by network, many consumers were not aware of the distinction. 

DirecTV Now attracted around 200,000 subscribers in its first month on the market. But the tech press and some analysts have been critical of the service for its early engineering flaws.

RELATED: AT&T’s DirecTV Now draws a mix of fire, support from analysts and users

Dan Rayburn, EVP of Streaming and principal analyst for Frost & Sullivan, told FierceOnlineVideo last month that AT&T hastily pushed out before it was actually ready for prime time.

“You can’t come out to the market and make a such a big declaration about how the service is going to be, use words like quality, talk about how it’s a game changer, and how it’s going to revolutionize video,” Rayburn said. “If you came to market and said this is beta, you can set expectations properly.”

AT&T, however, has insisted that the service has experienced an expected level of glitches for such an ambitious launch.

“Absolutely there were problems … the problems were not as big as I expected,” said Enrique Rodriguez, AT&T Entertainment's CTO and the executive in charge of the technical aspects of DirecTV Now, speaking at CES in early January. “I’m so proud of the quality we delivered.”