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Red Sox fans freak over DirecTV outage

Fans watching the season opener with Oakland, being broadcast from Tokyo by ESPN2, say those without HD boxes weren't getting the DirecTV feed.

Updated 1:55 p.m. PDT with DirecTV's response.

DirecTV apparently had big trouble delivering ESPN2's coverage Tuesday morning of the season opener between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's, who are playing the game in Tokyo.

The number of reader comments to a 6:29 a.m. blog post about the outage by Amalie Benjamin, who covers the Red Sox for The Boston Globe, soared past 120 within a couple hours after the transmission failure began. The fans, naturally, are calling for congressional hearings on the matter.

While the problem seemed to have been remedied by 10 a.m. East Coast time, we were still waiting to hear from DirecTV about what exactly might have been the problem. It's probably no small comfort to Sox fans, though, that the team won 6-5 on a Manny Ramirez two-run double in the 10th.

DirecTV's response
In an e-mail, DirecTV's director of public relations, Robert Mercer, offered the company's apologies for the inconvenience, saying it was the result of "temporary technical difficulties" that did not affect the majority of channels and that have since been corrected.

In the case of the Red Sox game, any customers who have NESN or ESPN2 in HD were able to see the entire game. For customers who watch NESN in Standard Definition (SD), we were able to bring the channel back at the top of the seventh inning. For customers who watch ESPN2 in SD the channel came back on later, after the game was over.

Replays on both ESPN2 and NESN were planned for Tuesday afternoon Eastern time.