If you are so angry over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem that you’re actually willing to give up watching football, DirecTV will reportedly refund your Sunday Ticket subscription.
According to the Wall Street Journal, DirecTV typically does not offer refunds once the season has started, but is making exceptions for people who cite protests as the reason they are cancelling. DirecTV wouldn’t officially comment to the Journal, but the paper asked several service representatives about the policy and spoke with a fan who had actually received a refund.
DirecTV service representatives contacted by The Wall Street Journal had different understandings of the policy. One said refunds to those concerned about the anthem protests are only allowed for people with certain offers or plans. One representative said full refunds were available for subscribers complaining about anthem protests. Another said such people could only get pro-rated refunds for the remainder of the season. Yet other representatives said refunds still aren’t allowed for any reason and that the policy hadn’t changed.
Mark Hoffman, a longtime subscriber to Sunday Ticket, which gives sports fans the ability to watch every Sunday game, said in an interview he was able to cancel his subscription on Monday. The package costs around $280 per-season.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d get a refund,” Mr. Hoffman said. “I know their guidelines, I just wanted to make a point.” Mr. Hoffman, a former business editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said he made his case successfully to a customer service representative after sitting through a recording saying cancellations weren’t an option.
In case you somehow missed it, dozens of NFL players knelt or sat during the national anthem on Sunday, both to protest for racial justice and to respond to Donald Trump’s suggestion that all players who don’t stand are sons of bitches. Many of the league’s 32 teams issued statements offering support, to one degree or another, for protesting players, but the mass demonstrations prompted anger from fans who either oppose the players’ goals, object to the supposed disrespect of the flag, or would simply prefer not to think about police brutality when watching football.
Obviously, DirecTV has no obligation to refund Sunday Ticket packages for angry fans. They could deny refunds, as they do with all other complaints.
According to the Journal, some fans have also cancelled their subscriptions to the RedZone channel in light of the player protests.
Many people, including the president, have wondered whether the protest movement that has galvanized some fans while alienating others would eventually hit the NFL’s bottom line, or whether football loyalists would quickly forget about the whole thing. These Sunday Ticket cancellations would seem to suggest that at least some small segment of fans is not letting go of this issue.