Q. I lost my local channel in the DIRECTV and Tegna blackout. My question is should I get CBS All Access. If I do, will I be able to see my local channels that I’m missing? And if I get it, will I be able to watch it on my regular TV or will I need a different box to watch it? — Teresa, Greenbelt, Maryland.
Teresa, as you know, DIRECTV lost 60 Tegna-owned local channels in a carriage dispute that started on December 1. Dish lost 164 Nexstar-owned local channels just a day later in a separate fee fight. It’s unclear when the two spats will end so many viewers are now seeking alternatives to continue watching their favorite network affiliates.
In your case, Teresa, DIRECTV is missing the Tegna-owned CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. (WUSA-TV). And CBS All Access, which costs $5.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial, could be an ideal alternative until the parties work out their differences. (All Access also has a $9.99 a month plan with no commercials.) The streaming service provides a live feed of CBS affiliates in 99 percent of the United States, including WUSA-TV. You can see a complete list of supporting affiliates here.
In addition to the local CBS signal, CBS All Access provides an On Demand lineup from the Viacom library (Viacom owns CBS) including shows from CBS, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Smithsonian, BET and other channels. There’s also original programming only available on All Access including Star Trek; Discovery, The Good Fight, and the new Twilight Zone.
But take note: CBS All Access only provides a live feed of CBS stations. So if you are missing a NBC, ABC or Fox affiliate due to either the DIRECTV-Tegna fight or Dish’s fee fights with Nexstar, and a few other local broadcasters such as Mission Broadcasting, it won’t help you. You’ll have to try an antenna or Locast or another alternative.
However, there are numerous CBS affiliates on both the DIRECTV and Dish missing channel lists so All Access might be worth contemplating for many. (You can see a complete list of Tegna stations here and Nexstar stations here.)
To your question as to how you watch CBS All Access, it’s available on the following devices:
iPhone and iPad
Android phone and tablet
If your Smart TV, or Smart TV device, isn’t on the list, you’ll have to invest in one that supports CBS All Access to watch it on TV. (You can also use a desktop or laptop to watch.)
Teresa, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann