Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2016) - DIRECTV's historic first 4K broadcast of Major League Baseball was not a hit last night with viewers who say the game never came on, according to subscriber posts at multiple social media sites and message forums.
Update: DIRECTV has confirmed to TVPredictions.com that it did not show the game on the 4K channel due to technical issues. See the satcaster's complete explanation below.
The satcaster announced earlier this week that it would air up to 25 MLB games this season on its new live 4K channel (channel 106), starting with last night's contest between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. This was supposed to mark the first 4K broadcast of a MLB game in the United States. SportsNet, a Canadian sports channel, is airing all 81 Toronto Blue Jays home games in 4K this season.
However, DIRECTV subscribers who had the necessary equipment and programming package to watch the channel say only a DIRECTV logo appeared on the screen at game time last night. There was no broadcast of the game.
Then, 20 minutes following game time, the channel actually was removed from the on-screen guide, and the game never did come on.
"And the first MLB game in 4K on DIRECTV...a big fat DIRECTV logo on channel 106. Good job. #Fail, " tweeted Brian Little on Twitter at 10:09 p.m. ET, four minutes after game time.
"Killed my anticipation. No 4K feed for baseball game. I have a confirmed install and it was working but game is a no-show, " tweeted Richard Alaniz on Twitter. "Bad job DIRECTV."
"Where did the 4K baseball game go? After seeing a logo for 20 min. the guide now says to be announced, " tweeted Paul Murray,
"Why no Dodgers 4K broadcast. I'm out of market, " lamented Brett Bowman.
Several DIRECTV 4K subscribers last night asked the satcaster's Twitter page for an explanation, but @DIRECTVService never publicly acknowledged the issue. Instead, it asked customers to send a direct message so the issue could be discussed privately. However, there is no indication that @DIRECTVService ever provided an explanation for the problem.
TVPredictions.com asked @DIRECTVService this morning for an explanation of the 4K shutout and the customer service unit would not answer the question specifically. We also asked DIRECTV's technical support department which said it was not aware of any issue because its morning support team was not on call last night.
Finally, we asked DIRECTV's public relations department this morning for a comment but have yet to get a response.
Update: DIRECTV this evening released this statement to TVPredictions.com:
"While the game was available to our customers in HD on MLB Network, we needed to cancel the 4K broadcast due to a technical issue with a third party's field production truck. The signal was not up to our high standards and we are continuing our testing to ensure we deliver a flawless 4K viewing experience. If viewers were inconvenienced, we certainly apologize."
The complaints from DIRECTV's 4K subscribers extended well beyond Twitter last night and this morning. And TVPredictions.com could not find a single comment from a 4K subscriber who said he could watch the game on channel 106.
At DBSTalk.com, a message board for DIRECTV and Dish viewers, 4K DIRECTV viewers were puzzled they couldn't watch the Dodgers-Giants.
"So I wonder what happened to the 4K Giants game last night? I went to bed about 10 but at that time the game hadn't aired yet and they changed the guide (listing for ch. 106) to 'to be announced, ' " wrote JC Langston.
"Same thing happened here. Technical problems? Maybe someone can fill us in, " responded 'ep1974.'
SatelliteGuys.us, another satellite message board, was also populated with confused fans.
"Kind of upset, " wrote 'pkleinlsu' of Wilmington, North Carolina. "I had to get upgraded package and equipment..."
"Weird thing is earlier they had footage from the stadium in 4K from various cameras playing on (channel 9800, a DIRECTV test channel) at around 7 p.m. ET. It looked spectacular, " wrote Daniel Mendez of Bonaire, Georgia.
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