's NFL Sunday Ticket outage puts many viewers on the sidelines

Daniel Bean
Yahoo News

Were you ready for some football!?! Well, some fans who purchased DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Max sure were, but instead got hit with a false start.

A lauded feature of the NFL Sunday Ticket Max service by DirecTV grants subscribers online and mobile viewing of regular season NFL football games, as well as the NFL’s Red Zone Channel. The subscription costs DirecTV users an additional $59.99 a month, which also includes satellite TV viewing.

But this past Sunday, many users were reportedly unable to access’s Sunday Ticket online service; instead they received an error message that stated, “ will be back shortly. We’re making improvements to maximize your online experience.”

This may have been due to a special package available to non-DirecTV subscribers, in coordination with EA Sports and DirecTV. A $100 “Anniversary” edition of the popular Madden NFL video game for Xbox and PlayStation 3, sold exclusively on, came bundled with an access code for computer, tablet or mobile device viewing of DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket that allowed purchasers to access Sunday Ticket without DirecTV.

The “Anniversary Edition” was a surprising smash success, becoming Amazon’s best-selling pre-order sports title ever. Because of that success, there were likely more Sunday Tickets users than DirecTV had ever handled before attempting to log on this Sunday.

When met with the error message and no football on their screens, subscribers of the service took to DirecTV’s Facebook page to let the cable provider know they weren’t happy about the interruptions in service making encroaching on their NFL viewing. And the Twitterverse was also more than a little upset about getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage when trying to log in.

A DirecTV representative told Yahoo News that, “Similar to how a few teams had a rusty start to the season, we did experience a minor glitch for a small number of online customers, but the issue was quickly resolved. We apologize to these customers for any inconvenience this may have caused."

The problem, according to DirecTV, seemed to be specific to and the company did reach out yesterday to users via social media to ask them to use the mobile app versions when possible. DirecTV is not yet certain of what exactly caused the hiccup, but the company did tell Yahoo News that it was able to restore service to its site by halftime of the early Sunday games and will continue to investigate further so that it can avoid future issues moving forward.

Much like your favorite team, DirecTV will certainly try to keep the fumbles to a minimum in week 2 and beyond. And if it can't -- well, it just might be a long season.