Philadelphia Union MLS games being incorrectly blacked out
I am a Philadelphia sports fan who lives in Central Jersey (Somerset County). Because Somerset County is in the NYC local television market, I get all NYC local channels and sports programming. So in order to watch my teams, I've had to order the NFL Sunday Ticket and MLS Direct Kick packages, which I've done for many years now.
Then this year's MLS season came around, and a problem popped up. I'm being blacked out from watching my Philadelphia Union broadcasts. I get an error code saying the match is blacked out on the Direct Kick channel (471-476) and that it is searching for it on another channel. After a short moment, it tells me it can't find the programming available on any other channel (because I don't get Philly local channels, obviously). This is the same message I would get in years past if, for example, I tried to flip to a NY Giants game on the Sunday Ticket channels (700s); it would tell me the game is blacked out of that channel, and then redirect me to channel 5 (Fox), where I could watch it on my local channel. But that's not what's happening with the MLS package; it just tells me the programming is not available anywhere to watch.
This has been very frustrating for me, as the problem has been ongoing since the season started back in March. I've made many, many calls to DirecTV, but they have not resolved this issue yet. I've had customer service reps help me put support request tickets in to their Engineering department on multiple occasions, with no success to-date. I've even had a customer service rep tell me that he also works in the Engineering department (even though he was clearly in an overseas call center while talking to me), and that he would be personally rectifying the problem for me within a few days. That was 2 months ago and still nothing.
I'm an avid sports fan and also have always been a vocal supporter of DirecTV (I hate Comcast with a passion and DirecTV has always had great customer service), but this is really disheartening. I'm sure it's just some random setting on the back-end that needs changed and everything would be fixed, but they haven't done it yet. I just really want to be able to watch my Union and Eagles games, even if I have to pay out the nose to do so. This season I've been forced to illegally stream the Union games; now I see why so many people are cutting the cord. And I'm getting scared that I will have this same issue with the Sunday Ticket package as well in a few weeks.
One thought I had is that maybe it has to do with my internet connection. My box is connected to the internet, which I use for on-demand and stuff like that. Where I live, I'm in Somerset County, but only about 2 miles from the county border to Mercer County, which is in the Philadelphia local broadcast market. I have Fios internet, and I know that the fiber lines run down the road into the next town over (which is in Mercer County), where there is a Verizon building that connects the lines to the global internet. So when I get those location-targeted ads on websites, they are always trying to sell me stuff in "[next town over], NJ" instead of my actual town, because that Verizon building in the town. So my long-shot theory is that maybe DirecTV is judging my location based on my IP address (Mercer County) and not based on my actual physical location (Somerset County). But I don't know why the problem would've only started this year.
DirecTV has always branded themselves as the provider for sports fans, but they are dropping the ball here. They have also always had incredible customer service, but ever since the AT&T merger, they're less forthcoming with discounts, they eliminated the referral program, and I'm now often getting customer service reps based in overseas call centers who are very clearly reading from a (poorly written) script and who really don't understand my issue. What's the deal, DirecTV? I've been a subscriber for 11+ years, are you going to help me out or what?
Has anyone else been experiencing issues like this?