It looks like AT&T’s streaming service DirecTV Now is experiencing some more growing pains. We wrote earlier about the blackouts of NFL on Fox games Sunday, which the company first said was over rights but now says is a technical problem that’s been fixed. Now it’s been reported that many DirecTV Now customers experienced a three-hour outage of the entire service Tuesday night, shortly after a two-hour outage Friday. Here are more details on Tuesday’s outage, from TV Predictions’ Phillip Swann:
DIRECTV Now last night suffered its second major outage in five days, leaving new subscribers scrambling to social media sites and the streamer’s chat line to register complaints.
The outage began at around 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday night and continued throughout the night. DIRECTV Now’s customers said they couldn’t log onto the streaming service, or they were suddenly met with a blank screen if already watching.
…The outage lasted for at least three hours, although some subscribers said after 11 p.m. ET they were able to log on but couldn’t watch a show without significant picture buffering.
As Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin notes, there have also been plenty of issues for fans trying to watch local sports teams on regional sports networks that are theoretically included:
Availability of local games on regional sports networks has also been spotty. [Ars Technica Senior Editor David] Kravets, Ars Technica’s most devoted Golden State Warriors fan, has been unable to watch several Warriors games on DirecTV Now, even though AT&T says it negotiated rights to air the games on Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Bay Area. Other Warriors fans notified Ars that they ran into the same problem.
We contacted AT&T about the Warriors problem on December 4. A company spokesperson said he was looking into it, but we still haven’t received an explanation.
…The DirecTV Now website still claims to carry the channels.
Appealing to sports fans is a big part of the strategy for DirecTV Now, as sports fans have been some of those most loyal to traditional cable or satellite services given the difficulties in trying to legally stream a variety of sports. Most of the streaming services so far have had some obvious sports holes, and DirecTV Now’s discussions of its content sounded promising; even without CBS, their combination of ABC, ESPN channels and Fox channels (plus the likes of NBCSN, SEC Network, MLB Network and more in the higher tiers) had some potential. If there isn’t clear communication about what sports are and aren’t actually available, though, and if the service isn’t more consistently reliable, that’s going to be a significant blow to the attraction of this service.