Last month, AT&T signaled that DirecTV may drop the NFL Sunday Ticket package following this season. That might be welcome news to thousands of fans angered by error messages and outages on Sunday.
A widespread outage of NFL Sunday Ticket deprived football fans across the country from tuning in to watch Sunday’s slate of 1 p.m. match-ups. DirectTV acknowledged the problems shortly after noon, but angered many subscribers by keeping them in the dark about how long the outage was expected to last. Among them was FS1 host Jason Whitlock:
DirectTV announced on Twitter that it had fixed the probe just before 5 p.m., after the entire slate of 1 p.m. games had ended.
Fortunately for Birds fans, Sunday’s Eagles game aired nationally on Fox in many major markets, but Fox pulled it once a Viking victory seemed assured. Combined with DirecTV’s issues, that left many Eagles fans across the country with no way to watch the end of the Eagles’ disappointing loss.
When reached on Monday, DirectTV did not answer any questions about how widespread the Sunday NFL Ticket outage was, or how many customers were impacted. It’s also unclear if DirecTV will offer pro-rated refunds to customers who were unable to watch any football games.
Fortunately, the Eagles play on Sunday Night Football next Sunday against the Cowboys on NBC, so Birds fan won’t be affected if DirectTV has any lingering issues next week.
CBS also suffered through some tech problems on Sunday, though they were minor compared to DirecTV and didn’t knock the network off-the-air.
During the network’s pregame show The NFL Today, microphones went out on set during the show’s second segment, forcing the broadcast to turn to announcers in Baltimore and Jacksonville. When The NFL Today returned, analysts Bill Cowher, Phil Simms, Nate Burleson, and Boomer Esiason were forced to awkwardly share hand-held microphones with Tony Romo, who was in New York to call the Cowboys-Jets game at the Meadowlands Sunday afternoon.
“I will say it’s the first time I’m using… is this a real mic? I mean, these look fake from 1982,” Romo joked before passing the microphone to Burleson so he could ask the former Cowboys quarterback a question.
The glitches didn’t end there for Romo. During the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Cowboys-Jets game, his headset went out, causing him to disappear from the broadcast before leaning in to share a headset with play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz.
“I have never called a game that close to my colleague in the past, as we were working off one headset mic,” Nantz joked. “Now we know who the gremlin was in the studio today. Antonio Romo.”
• Did Pope Francis help will the Saints to a win against the Jaguars? That’s what many fans thought when a message shared on his official Twitter account used the hashtag #Saints, which added the team’s fleur-de-lis logo as part of a partnership with the NFL.
“All 32 NFL teams have a designated expression that automatically triggers their logo emoji when used with a hashtag on Twitter. The Saints just happen to share theirs with canonized figures,” wrote ESPN’s Mike Triplett.
• Reggie Jackson, known to most baseball fans as Mr. October, didn’t know he was live on MLB Network Radio on Sunday when he started dropping f-bombs about Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who missed Game 2 with a strained quad.
The best part of the brief but colorful interview is Jackson angrily telling host Jim Bowden to let them know he’s live next time he’s on the air.