Just as a thunderstorm creates magnetic disturbances in the form of lightning, the sun also creates a magnetic disturbance while expending energy in the form of storms, called solar flares, more commonly called Sun Spots. When the sun passes directly behind a satellite, the channels distributed by that satellite would be effected by sun spot activity. This activity occurs for about two weeks every fall and spring.
When you experience a sun outage on a particular channel, that channel is being affected all over the country. What you may experience on a channel is a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or total loss of the channel. This will typically last 5 to 15 minutes. This is not a cable outage and there is technically nothing cable providers can do to prevent the sun spots from occurring.