Q. We are still without our CBS station here in Raleigh. So it looks like the football games won’t be on for us on DIRECTV. But I have a question. Will the CBS games on the NFL Sunday Ticket be blacked out, too? That would really, really make me mad. — Rami, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Update: The AT&T-Nexstar blackout is over. The two companies have reached a deal. See this article for more information.
Rami, as you note, DIRECTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now have been without more than 120 Nexstar-owned local stations (including your CBS affiliate in Raleigh) since July 3 due to a fee dispute between the broadcaster and AT&T, which owns the three TV services. The stations include network affiliates for CBS, ABC, Fox and ABC.
The blackout is making football fans particularly nervous with the NFL regular season scheduled to start on September 5 with Thursday night action between Green Bay and Chicago. (The game will air on NBC. Sunday afternoon games, which begin on September 8, will be on Fox and CBS.)
We don’t know if the dispute will be settled by the first kickoff next week. But some Nexstar/DIRECTV viewers are saying on social media sites that they might subscribe to DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket so they can still watch their favorite teams regardless of what happens.
Well, here’s what you need to know about that.
If you subscribe to the Sunday Ticket, you will be able to see almost every CBS and Fox Sunday afternoon game regardless of whether your local Nexstar station is blacked out on DIRECTV.
As usual, your local broadcasts of the NFL games will be blacked out on the Sunday Ticket, even if you can’t watch those local broadcasts on DIRECTV.
For example, Rami, let’s say your CBS Nexstar station was airing a game between the Patriots and Jets. Even though you couldn’t watch it on that CBS station because of the fee fight between Nexstar and DIRECTV, you also couldn’t watch it on the Sunday Ticket.
You will be able to watch games that are not being broadcast by your local CBS and Fox stations. For instance, if the Chiefs are playing the Colts, and your CBS station isn’t airing that game, it will be available on the Sunday Ticket.
I know this may sound unfair, but DIRECTV is legally bound by league rules to blackout the local broadcasts regardless of whether those broadcasts can actually be viewed on its service.
Rami, hope that clarifies the situation. Happy viewing!
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— Phillip Swann