By The TV Answer Man team
TV Answer Man, we are really fed up with not having our NBC station here in the Tampa area. Is there anything we can do as viewers to end this thing? — Gina, Tampa Florida.
Gina, DIRECTV on July 2 lost 159 Nexstar-owned local stations in a fee fight between the companies. There has been no indication that a settlement is imminent with both sides over the weekend engaging in a war of words over which one is to blame. As a viewer caught in the middle, it’s particularly frustrating because it feels like you have no power. However, there are some things you can do to register your protest and, perhaps at least in a small way, have some influence over how and when the dispute ends. In fact, here are seven things you can do to have a voice in the DIRECTV-Nexstar dispute:
1. Contact DIRECTV
Start by reaching out to DIRECTV’s customer service. Express your disappointment and ask for more information about the carriage dispute. While customer service representatives might not have the power to resolve the situation immediately, they can document your concerns and pass them on to higher-ups.
2. Sign Petitions
Many viewers have successfully used online platforms to create petitions urging TV providers to resolve carriage fights and bring back the removed channels. Websites like Change.org can help you create and share petitions that draw attention to the issue.
3. Social Media Advocacy
Social media platforms are powerful tools for raising awareness and rallying support. Share your frustrations, use relevant hashtags, and tag both the TV provider and the affected channel in your posts. Encourage your followers to join in, spreading the message and putting additional pressure on the providers to address the situation.
4. Contact Nexstar
Reach out to your local station that’s missing. Express your disappointment and let them know how much their content means to you. Sometimes, content providers can also put pressure on the TV service providers to come to a resolution.
5. Contact Regulatory Authorities
Lodge a complaint with the FCC, detailing the impact of the carriage fight on your viewing experience. This can lead to investigations and potential interventions, although don’t get your expectations up that the agency will take aggressive steps to end the dispute. But you never know. If the FCC gets enough letters from complaining viewers, it may at least start an inquiry that could put some pressure on DIRECTV and Nexstar.
6. Explore Alternative Services
While this might not directly be a protest method, exploring alternative TV service providers that offer the channel you’re missing can send a message to your current provider. This may encourage them to expedite a resolution to the dispute.
7. Coordinate with Other Viewers
Join online forums, discussion boards, or social media groups dedicated to discussing the issue. Coordinating efforts with fellow viewers can amplify your protest’s impact and draw attention to the carriage fight.
Gina, hope that helps.
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