One of the biggest selling points of AT&T’s latest online streaming service, DirecTV Now, was the deal signed by AT&T and Fox a few weeks ago. This deal allowed DirecTV Now subscribers to access all the local Fox Stations in certain Fox owned markets.
DirecTV Now subscribers assumed that this deal would allow them to access and watch the NFL games. However, many DirecTV Now customers across different markets reported that they were not able to watch some of the NFL games. AT&T immediately responded and stated that they have identified a “technical issue”, which prevented DirecTV Now customers from watching the match and added that they have resolved the problem.
The statement from AT&T noted, “On Sunday, we experienced an issue where some DIRECTV Now customers were unable to stream portions of the football games on their respective local Fox channel. We’ve identified the issue and are confident that customers will be able to stream next Sunday’s games in available markets where league blackout restrictions don’t apply.”
AT&T refused to specify what the “issue” that caused the blackouts was. However, the customer service team of DirecTV Now made a statement on Twitter by stating that the issue was “caused by the streaming service not having the rights to any NFL game carried by a network that had the game’s national rights.”
This statement doesn’t fit with the statement from AT&T, which means that DirecTV Now subscribers might be able to watch the NFL games in upcoming weeks. Sling TV and PlayStation Vue subscribers were able to access the games and they did not any encounter any blackouts during the broadcast of the game.
Analyst claims that if AT&T fails to resolve the issue soon, this might affect DirecTV Now badly. This is because there is a possibility for NFL fans to opt out of DirecTV Now and to join the competitors if AT&T is unable to offer the broadcast of NFL games.
The “league blackout restrictions” of AT&T was actually a nod to Verizon’s exclusive with the option to stream and watch NFL games on smartphones. Reports indicate that DirecTV Now customers will not be able to access the locally televised NFL games on their smartphones, as Verizon holds the exclusive rights for this category. However, DirecTV Now subscribers will still be able to watch the local NFL games on their tablets, computers, and connected TV’s.