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Many subscribers to DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket getting less than they paid for

DirecTV Super Saturday Night Hosted By Mark Cuban's AXS TV And Pro Football Hall Of Famer Michael Strahan - Arrivals

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 31: (L-R) Eugenia Jones, Owner, President and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, and Brill Garrett attend DirecTV Super Saturday Night hosted by Mark Cuban’s AXS TV and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan at Pendergast Family Farm on January 31, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for DirecTV)

Getty Images for DirecTV

If you’re a big NFL fan, there’s no better way to watch every game, every Sunday than to subscribe to DirecTV and the NFL Sunday Ticket package. At least, on the days when the Sunday Ticket package is actually working as advertised.

Unfortunately, for many subscribers, it doesn’t work as advertised.

During Week Two of the NFL season, social media lit up with complaints from DirecTV subscribers who weren’t getting the Sunday Ticket package they paid for. (During Week One that wasn’t an issue because DirecTV offers the first week free to all subscribers.) Issues such as customers being told they had ordered the Red Zone Channel only to have it blacked out when the games started, to getting a message on all the NFL channels saying they needed to buy them even though they had already paid for the channels, were commonplace. Reddit threads describe experiences like spending six hours talking to seven customer service agents before getting the correct Sunday Ticket channels.

My own issue, as a DirecTV subscriber, remains unresolved as I’ve been unable to get anyone on the phone who could fix it. PFT separately reached out to a public relations spokesperson for AT&T, DirecTV’s parent company, to ask about the scope of subscriber issues with Sunday Ticket. The spokesperson did not respond.

Sunday Ticket isn’t cheap: It’s $293.94 for the basic package, with the package that includes Red Zone Channel increasing to $395.95. For that kind of money, it should work as advertised.

As long as DirecTV has a monopoly on NFL Sunday Ticket, the company doesn’t have a lot of incentive to provide good customer service: DirecTV knows that hard-core NFL fans want to see their games and will put up with a lot to get them.