Many local bars were not able to watch the first game of the World Series last year, as they were greeted with a black screen on their television due to the dispute between the cable service provider and channels. However, they were able to catch the actions of the remaining matches when the cable provider entered into a carriage agreement with the channels.
Many bar managers and owners believed that they would not have to face any blackouts in the future. However, DirecTV has proven these bar owners wrong, as bars in Greater Lafayette area regularly experienced game blackouts since the beginning of World Series on both NBC and FOX network affiliates.
A major portion of bars usually subscribe to DirecTV as their cable provider. This is because DirecTV is the only cable service provider that offers full National Football League package to businesses. However, the recent blackouts have disappointed them all.
The owner of Bobby T’s Pub, Robert Turner said, “If you’re a sports bar you have to have DIRECTV because they have exclusive rights to the NFL package. They have a monopoly on the ticket.” Turned added that the bars were filled with people to watch the blacked-out game.
Turner and other bar owners stated that when they reached out to DirecTV for complaining against the blackout of the games, they replied that the blackout was a result of ongoing contract negotiations between the provider and local channels. However, a recent statement made the communications representative of DirecTV, Tamara Rader, stated that the blackout of games were actually due to technical issues.
“We are currently unable to provide the FOX signal to these customers due to technical issues. We expect to resolve those technical issues soon,” Rader said. Commenting on that, the general manger at Professor Joe’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria, Kristine Brower said that there are no patterns to which games are being blacked out and there is even no notice, which indicates that the games are being blacked out.
“It’s been totally random. The World Series game was the first time. Three weeks later there was a Sunday night football game. And this past Sunday it was the 4:30 p.m. football game. We had no heads up,” Brower said. However, reports from several reliable sources indicate that DirecTV is determined to solve the issue and to end the blackout of the games in a few weeks time.