By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, we have lost our NBC station here thanks to DIRECTV’s big fight with the station owner. Do you know how we can keep watching NBC without having to get another TV company provider? — Marie, Tampa, Florida.

Marie, DIRECTV a week ago lost 159 Nexstar-owned network affiliates due to a disagreement over carriage fees. Nexstar has local stations in such large markets as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Denver (and the NBC affiliate in Tampa). To see a list of the Nexstar stations, click here.

I think this blackout could last a few months or more because of a long history of bad blood between the two companies. However, if you want to stay with DIRECTV (or DIRECTV Stream and U-verse, which are also affected by the blackout), there are six ways to continue watching local programming.

1. TV Antenna
An indoor or outdoor TV antenna can deliver the signals of your local channels in most areas. But note that they don’t work in all areas. If you live near mountains, tall trees, high-rise buildings, or anything that can be an obstacle in the signal’s path, you may have a problem picking up the signal. You may also encounter issues if you are a long distance from the station’s tower.

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2. Web sites
Many local stations offer their news programs live and for free at their web sites. (WFLA-TV, in the Tampa market, is one that does.) While this doesn’t permit you to watch the station’s primetime lineup, you can keep up with its newscasts.

3. News On
If you have trouble with the web site, News On is a streaming app that also offers local newscasts, both live and on demand. You can learn more about it here at NewsOn.

4. Paramount+ 
Paramount+, the streaming service, offers a live feed of your local CBS channel as well as on demand programming from the network, Showtime, and a large number of shows and movies from other sources. Note: The live CBS feed requires the $11.99 a month plan.

5. Peacock
The NBC-owned streamer has the live feeds of more than 200 NBC local stations, including local and national programming. But you will need the $9.99 a month Peacock Premium plan.

6. Hulu
Unfortunately, ABC and Fox do not offer separate streaming options for cord-cutters (or cord holders who are blackout victims). But you can watch some Fox shows and ABC shows on Hulu the day after they first air.

Marie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann