TV Answer Man, what is happening with the Fox and DIRECTV thing? I thought it was supposed to have a deadline of midnight last night but I woke up 20 minutes ago and it looks like nothing has changed. What’s going on?? — Ron, Arlington, Virginia.
Ron, Fox last Sunday began posting viewer alerts that DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse could lose the Fox-owned local affiliates in 18 markets as well as FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, Fox Deportes, and Fox Soccer Plus. The network is negotiating a new carriage pact with DIRECTV and it says in the viewer alert that the deadline for a new deal was Friday, December 2 at midnight.
Some publications and viewers have interpreted that to mean that the deadline was the midnight following Thursday, December 1. However, it’s actually the midnight that follows today, which is slightly more than 18 hours from when I write this. (I noted on Twitter last night that the real deadline is tonight, not last night.)
As of this morning, there is no indication that the two sides are closer to a deal, or not closer to a deal. Both DIRECTV and Fox have been tight-lipped since the initial volley of accusatory statements from last Sunday.
But the TV Answer Man has learned two things that DIRECTV subscribers need to know if they lose Fox after tonight.
1. DIRECTV’s TV Everywhere credentials would not work for Fox’s national channels. That means that a DIRECTV subscriber could not use his or her user name and password to watch FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network or Fox Deportes on the Fox Now or Fox Sports apps.
DIRECTV subs in the 18 markets where Fox owns and operates a local network affiliate also could not use their TV Everywhere credentials to access the Fox Now or Fox Sports apps. (Click here to see a list of the Fox-owned network affiliates.)
However, subscribers in the rest of the markets could still access the Fox apps with their user name and passwords.
2. DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket contract is a separate licensing agreement from the Fox agreement. (I confirmed that with DIRECTV.) That means if you lose Fox, you will still get Fox’s Sunday Ticket games, minus, of course, the local broadcasts, which are typically blacked out on the Ticket anyway.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor the Fox-DIRECTV dispute and report back here if anything significant changes. Until then, 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