DIRECTV Sports Blackouts FAQ

Is DIRECTV sports programming affected by blackouts?

Blackout restrictions are a factor in every programming distribution service. Blackouts are defined by the leagues—not by DIRECTV—and determined according to who has the rights to broadcast a given game in a given area. 

 

Why do blackouts exist?

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

 

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, DIRECTV customers who live in the home team’s area may not be able to see it with their DIRECTV subscription for that particular sport. Instead, they would need to watch it on their local channel for that broadcasting network. 

If a network that DIRECTV carries—such as ESPN, ESPN2, 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, DIRECTV customers in that area will be unable to receive that game through their DIRECTV® subscription(s). 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.

 

Why is my Regional Sports Network (RSN) territory different from my cable RSN?

The area of in-market availability for each Regional Sports Network is determined by the companies, like Fox Sports Direct, that provide the RSNs to us. The constraints of C-band satellite systems, cable systems, and our system differ slightly, which is why RSN territories sometimes differ from one delivery system to the next.

Most people get the same RSN from us as they would from cable. But in some areas of the county, there are differences—your home RSN from us might be different from your home RSN on cable. This is because RSNs base their service on ZIP codes for satellite customers and on county boundaries for cable customers. This difference is necessary because of the technical differences in how the satellite and cable signals are distributed.

 

Are blackouts enforced with NFL SUNDAY TICKET?

NFL rules require that locally televised Sunday afternoon games on CBS/FOX are blocked from watching on mobile devices based on your device’s location. If the app cannot determine your device’s location, your account information will be used. Only out-of-market Sunday afternoon games (1PM ET and 4PM ET) can be watched on your mobile device.

Other games that are not available to watch on your mobile device: Thursday Night games on CBS, locally televised Sunday afternoon games on CBS/FOX, Sunday night games on NBC, Monday night games on ESPN.

For more information about NFL SUNDAY TICKET, visit directv.com/NFL.

 

Can I see games on NFL SUNDAY TICKET Short Cuts that were blacked out on the prior Sunday?

Yes, all NFL SUNDAY TICKET games that were blacked out on Sunday will be available on NFL SUNDAY TICKET Short Cuts, including games that were broadcast on your local FOX and CBS stations. NFL SUNDAY TICKET Short Cuts are commercial-free replays showing every play from a game in 30 minutes or less. NFL SUNDAY TICKET Short Cuts requires a subscription to NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX.

 

How do blackouts affect the NFL SUNDAY TICKET Game Mix?

NFL SUNDAY TICKET games that are blacked out will not appear on the Game Mix channel.

 

How do blackouts affect local NBA broadcasts?

If a local over-the-air network has the rights to broadcast an NBA game in its local area, customers in that area will not receive that game via their satellite service. However, they may be able to see the game on a local channel.

 

Can you give me an example of how NHL blackouts work?

If the St. Louis Blues are playing the New York Rangers, the local telecast areas of the Blues and Rangers will be blacked out on NHL® CENTER ICE®. If the game is being televised locally, NHL CENTER ICE subscribers can view the game on their over-the-air TV station or their local regional sports network (RSN), which is included in the CHOICE package.

 

What are the MLS DIRECT KICK blackout regulations?

Local blackout rules apply to these teams’ broadcasts: Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, and Washington D.C. United. Also, MLS games shown nationally on ESPN, ESPN2, TeleFutura, and ABC are not included in the MLS DIRECT KICK™ subscription.

 

DIRECTV Error Code 727

This error indicates that the sports program you’re trying to watch is “blacked out” in your area. Try tuning in to one of your local channels or regional sports networks to watch the game.

Blackout restrictions are designed to protect the television rights holders in the competing teams’ respective home markets. All entertainment providers, including DIRECTV, must abide by these agreed-upon restrictions for distributing programs.