DirecTV Blackout Causes Some Fans to Miss Broadcasts Amid Coronavirus Quarantines

For 15 minutes earlier tonight, satellite giant DirecTV went dark in much of the country, causing fans to miss the conclusions of shows before it came back to life around 9 p.m. ET. The company has had no immediate response to fans who were wondering what happened, perhaps becuase it seems to have been a regional outage and was brief enough that it did not explode on Twitter. Still, with audiences largely stuck at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, plenty of commenters were upset that one of the few creature comforts they had at the moment went on the fritz.

Deadline notes that customers on the west coast, the east cost, and eastern Texas started reporting problems, outages, and "signal lost" errors at a significant clip on social media around 8:40 p.m. ET. The problem persisted without assistance from the DirecTV support accounts for between 15 and 20 minutes, and ended just as suddenly as it began.

Brief outages are not unusual for DirecTV, but one so widespread, that seems to have started and ended around the same time for everybody, is an odd one.

The pandemic and resulting self-isolation around the country has had a crippling effect on the entertainment industry. Box office receipts have plummeted as theaters close their doors for indefinite periods of time, and film and TV productions have been put on hold in order to avoid spreading the virus. Meanwhile, projects that have already been completed are being delayed or, in some cases, released as direct-to-streaming projects.

The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is seeing similar exponential growth in the United States right now to what happened in Italy a few weeks ago. That country has seen a spike in cases (and related fatalities), and the government has had to impose stricter quarantines and lockdowns.


Americans are living in a national state of emergency and in many states, all non-essential businesses have been ordered closed in order to assist in quarantining citizens to keep them from contacting the coronavirus. Movie theaters have been shut down and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines that instruct Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

For those of our readers who have children stranded at home, and who might be struggling to come up with some kind of educational content that can help keep their brains active while the school year is suspended due to the pandemic, the Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a webseries starring their animals.