DirecTV is offering unprecedented refunds for fans who want to cancel their NFL Sunday Ticket package, if they inform the company that they are doing so due to the recent protests during the national anthem, a source confirmed.
Once the season starts, fans usually cannot cancel their subscriptions, but AT&T, which owns DirecTV, decided to change the policy due to the sensitivity of the issue. The price of the package, which allows fans to get out-of-market games, is about $280.
An AT&T spokesperson declined to confirm the cancellation policy and said the company would have no numbers to share.
The exemption was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Roughly 180 players chose not to stand for the national anthem in Week 3, while three teams — the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelersand Seattle Seahawks — did not come to the sideline for the anthem. On Monday night, the Dallas Cowboyschose to kneel in unison before the anthem.
Players were emboldened after being challenged by President Donald Trump, who Friday night at a speech in Alabama, encouraged NFL owners to “fire” players who didn’t stand for the national anthem.
The stance, which Trump continued to assert throughout the weekend, had the opposite effect. Almost all of the league’s owners responded with statements affirming the players’ right to protest, as players and executives went as far as to coordinate their actions.
Not everyone was happy.
At some stadiums, fans booed the players. Others took to social media to say they were canceling their Sunday Ticket subscriptions.
An NFL spokesman says ratings overall were up 3 percent for Week 3 compared with Week 3 of last year, thanks in large part to the competitive game on Monday Night Football involving the Dallas Cowboys. The increase also was due to the fact that last year’s Monday Night Football game was competing against a presidential debate.