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How to understand Sports Blackouts

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How to understand Sports Blackouts

 Why do blackouts exist?

Blackout restrictions are designed to protect the television rights holders in the competing teams’ respective home markets. DIRECTVNOW does not arbitrarily institute blackouts, but simply follows the restrictions set forth by the leagues or their rights holders, such as ESPN and TNT.

 

Why was a nationally televised game not shown in my area?

In our agreements with sports leagues and associations, we are restricted from showing events near where a game is played or broadcast locally. Also, national networks like ESPN and TNT have exclusive distribution rights to some events.

 

It's important to understand that sports blackouts and game availability are controlled by the leagues, associations, and networks that purchase the rights to broadcast individual games. To protect their rights, DIRECTVNOW must enforce the restrictions mandated by them.

 

In some cases, if a game is blacked out from certain DIRECTVNOW channels or sports subscriptions, you may be able to see it on another DIRECTVNOW channel or on one of your local broadcast channels (in available markets).

To learn more click here.

 

How do blackouts work?

National rights
If a national broadcasting network such as ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX has the national rights to broadcast a sports game, DIRECTVNOW customers who live in and/or physically located in the home team's area may not be able to see it with their DIRECTVNOW subscription for that particular sport. Instead, they would need to watch it on their local channel for that broadcasting network if available see <insert link to Local Channels> .

If a network that DIRECTVNOW carries - such as ESPN, TNT, TBS, or USA - has the national rights to broadcast a game, DIRECTV customers will be able to see it on those channels.

Regional sports networks do not obtain national broadcast rights to professional sports.

Local rights
If a local off-air broadcast channel (not ABC, NBC, CBS, or FOX) or local cable system has the rights to broadcast a professional game in a certain region, DIRECTVNOW customers in that area will be unable to receive that game through their DIRECTVNOW subscription. If a regional sports network that DIRECTV carries has the local rights to broadcast a game, customers within the region can receive that game through any DIRECTV subscription that includes this particular local regional sports network. Customers outside the region will receive that game through the appropriate out-of-market professional sports subscription.

 

Are pro sports shown on the Regional Sports Networks?

We offer Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) from across the nation, which show professional, college, and both domestic and international amateur sports (such as soccer, tennis, boxing, golf, rugby, winter sports, etc.), as well as coaches shows and other specialized programming.

 

Based on your ZIP code, you have been assigned in-market local RSNs on which you are authorized to view the pro and college games shown on that channel when you are physically located in that RSN market as determined by zip code. Due to contractual broadcast rights between the networks and the leagues, those who live outside of your area are not authorized to view the same games. The opposite is true in that you are unable to see pro sports on out-of-market RSNs.

 

For example, when a network such as MSG purchases the rights from the NBA to broadcast a Knicks game, they pay a fee and broadcast it to the New York City market only. Therefore, we can only allow customers within that market to view the pro games on that channel. When a national network such as TNT broadcasts an NBA game, they have paid a significantly higher fee because they are broadcasting to the entire nation. The fee is much higher due to the advertisement potential.

 

Because of fans like you who have interest in viewing teams from outside of your home market, the leagues have created professional sports subscriptions such as the NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Are there different types of Blackouts?

  1. Location based in which a user will see a message that this program is not available based on their location.
  • While streaming a Local or RSN channel if the user travels outside of the permitted territory for that channel the stream will be interrupted within 5 minutes of the location check and a message will appear that the program is not available based on their current location
  1. Streaming blackout in which a user will see a slate with messaging that states the program is not available
  • HBO Boxing events are not allowed on streaming devices so we will have to cover the feed with a static image and messaging that states the program/event is not available for streaming
  1. Device blackout in which a user will see a slate with messaging that states the program is not available on this device
  • NFL games on FOX, ESPN, NBC, and NFL Network are blocked on mobile phone devices. Users on this device will see a message that the program is not available on their device.
  1. Commercial blackout in which a user will see a slate with messaging that states commercial break in progress and programming will resume shortly
  • ESPN has commercial breaks on their live channels that are 2-3 minutes long. At launch we will not support ad insertion on live channels so users will see a slate stating a commercial break is in progress and the program will resume shortly.

 

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.

-DIRECTVNOWCare 

Need more help? Search through the DIRECTV NOW Community for great answers. Get diy help with your account, device setup, and streaming with DIRECTV NOW eSupport or contact us 24/7 on chat. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @directvnowhelp!

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
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Message 1 of 19
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Accepted by topic author Community Support
Accepted by DIRECTVNOWCare
‎11-30-2016 5:32 AM

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

Wondering why you cannot see a sports game? Seeing an error message? Learn why and check out the information above!

 

-DIRECTVNOWCare

Need more help? Search through the DIRECTV NOW Community for great answers. Get diy help with your account, device setup, and streaming with DIRECTV NOW eSupport or contact us 24/7 on chat. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @directvnowhelp!

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Tags (2)
Message 2 of 19

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

Can you please clarify why you are blacking out golden state warriors games for bay area zip codes that list CSN BAY Area as available? I am from a 95xxx zip code and i am seeing the message that says this event is not available for my area.

Here is the link to your document:

https://cdn.directv.com/content/dam/dtv/gmott/buyflow/Regional_Sports_Networks_on_DIRECTVNOW.pdf

 

 

Message 3 of 19
Tutor

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

I at least want refund from my purchase date until this issue is resolved.  Many of us literally paid the $35 / month due to that pdf file stating "Warriors"!

Message 4 of 19
Tutor

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

Good and bad news.  Good news - Finally got through to a support tech (online chat).  She said "Yes we are aware of this issue. Its a common issue thats going on right now. Please bear with us a we work to find a resolution for this issue. We ask that in the meantime you check back periodically for any updates or changes to the channel your trying to watch."  So at least it's only a temporary issue and not by design.

 

Bad news - asked for a refund at least for the days that Warriors are unavailable (12/1-12/3) - basically just $3 - she said sorry, no refunds available.

Message 5 of 19
Contributor

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

That's good news?

Message 6 of 19
Teacher

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

"Solution
Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts"

With all due respect, this is just nonsense. I live in Area Code 46142 and get Fox Sports Midwest. My Channel Guide shows NBA Basketball, and the splash screen (when you open the channel) shows "Indiana Pacers vs. ...). When the show comes on it is not the Pacer game. Last night it was a two-day old football game. My local cable provider (Comcast) provides these games on FSMW. Your website says I'm supposed to get them;

Screen Shot 12-05-16 at 03.12 PM.PNG

It's disingenuous of you to advertise that a certain channel will be available, list the content of that channel in your guide, and then not provide that content. I've read the article. There is no local broadcast. There was a "national broadcast" (NBA TV) that blacked me out on both. This is just absurd. I'm only asking that you provide the content that you offered when I signed up.

Message 7 of 19
Tutor

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

in the same boat as everyone else. Can't watch teh Warriors Game on Comcast Sports Net Bay area when it's the only channel that's broadcasting it. Not a National televise game.

Message 8 of 19
Tutor

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

I am having the same issue in Charlotte, NC.  Trying to watch the Hornets game on Fox Sports Southeast and it currently thinks im in Atlanta, GA as it is always showing Georgia broadcasts on that same channel.  My friend (who also lives in Charlotte) has regular DirecTV and we use his login to watch the hornets games on the same channel.  

 

There has to be something going on here.  This is one of, if not the only reason I would use this service.  

Message 9 of 19
Teacher

Re: How to understand Sports Blackouts

Message 10 of 19
Contributor

Can't watch football game again.

ESPN not showing football game. I've tried to see them this weekend and same error 70
Message 11 of 19
Tutor

Re: Can't watch football game again.

I'm in NC also, BiGEDub.  Having the same issue as you.  I think the primary feed of Fox Sports Southeast serves the Atlanta area.  When a Hornets game is on, it's supposed to automatically switch to an alternate feed of Fox Sports Southeast that only goes to people located in the Carolinas.  This is obviously not working.  Hope they get it fixed before my 3-month paid subscription runs out in March or I'll be switching back to cable.

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Message 12 of 19
Mentor

Re: Can't watch football game again.

I am in the same boat with the Hornets in Charlotte (28278).
Tags (1)
Message 13 of 19
Contributor

Nhl blackout

I live in Hamburg, NJ and I'm trying to understand why the Canadians vs Maple Leaf game is being blacked out on the NHL network. No other channel on the Directtvnow service is showing the game and neither team is a local team to this area so there is no reason I see for it to be blacked out.
Message 14 of 19
Contributor

Re: Nhl blackout

 I subscribed to Direct TV because they promised the SEC channel.

Do you think I'm a little deiappointed they waited until game time to let us know they decided not to pay for the right to broadcast the Outback Bowl featuring eastern division champs, FL Gators? 

Not only did I miss the game they kept leaving a message up like there might be a last minute reak through, so I didn't seek an alternative renue.

I'm looking for a more dependable source . Anybody know of one that at least doesn't string you along 'till ti's too late?

Message 15 of 19
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