By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, my sister-in-law says you can watch our missing Fox channel on the Fox Now app. Is that true? Do you need anything special to do that? We missed the All-Star Game and we don’t want to miss any more important shows and sports! — Selena, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Selena, DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream have lost nearly 200 local stations due to a carriage dispute with Nexstar. The blackout caused many DIRECTV subscribers to miss Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game, which was broadcast by Fox. (The blackout also affects U-verse.)

The DIRECTV-Nexstar fee fight has forced the pay TV provider’s customers to seek creative solutions to continue watching their local channels. In a recent article, we presented six ways to watch your network affiliates if they are not available in your lineup, including using a TV antenna.

But is there a seventh way?

The networks host streaming apps that allow you to use your pay TV user name and password to access their programming, including live feeds. For example, Fox has the Fox Now and Fox Sports apps which house the network’s on-demand lineups and multiple live feeds of Fox programming, including network shows and sports.

If Fox is blacked out on DIRECTV because of the Nexstar fee fight, could you still watch the network’s programming on the Fox apps?

Answer: Maybe.

Yes, maybe. The networks sometimes permit you to use their apps even if your network affiliate is blacked out in your pay TV provider’s lineup. However, it’s at their discretion. For example, some DIRECTV subscribers who are missing their Fox affiliate in the Nexstar blackout were unable to watch the MLB All-Star Game on the Fox Sports or Fox Now apps on Tuesday night. It appears that Fox blocked them because of the carriage dispute.

That doesn’t mean Fox will prevent access in the future. Or that the other networks will not permit you to watch their apps. But the only way to find out with certainty is to try. For instance, Fox on July 20 will begin streaming the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer tournament on the apps. If you want to watch it, and your Fox affiliate is blacked out on DIRECTV, give the Fox Sports app a try. (Fox has announced that it’s ending the Fox Now app although it’s still available as of this morning.)

In fact, DIRECTV is recommending that subscribers use the apps as an alternative method, but the company acknowledges that it’s not a guarantee.

If the app doesn’t work, you might also try the web sites of the networks. For instance, some readers report that did show the All-Star Game to DIRECTV/Nexstar viewers on Tuesday night.

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

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— Phillip Swann