DirecTV and the National Football League declined to comment, but customer service representatives said refunds would be granted even though DirecTV does not typically allow them once the regular season has started.
The news of the cancellations comes after a weekend where President Donald Trump said at a rally in Alabama that NFL players “disrespecting the flag” should be fired by owners. He also referred to them as “sons of bitches.” Trump also called for people to boycott the NFL.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it, [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Some NFL teams last weekend in response chose to stay off the field altogether during the national anthem, while others knelt and locked arms.
The protests have drawn praise in some quarters and derision in others, but have been met with a chorus of boos in most NFL stadiums.
NFL Sunday Ticket is a $280 service offered by DirecTV that allows football fans to watch every NFL game, every week. Football draws the biggest TV audiences of American sports and is important to the bottom line of a host of major media companies. Sunday Ticket is one of the NFL’s premier franchises, earning it $1.5 billion a year in licensing revenue, and is a major customer draw for DirecTV.