By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, we haven’t had our Fox station now for months. Is there anything good happening with the DIRECTV and Nexstar feud? And how can we watch the NFL games on Fox on Sunday? — Clark, Denver.
Clark, DIRECTV on July 2 lost 159 Nexstar-owned local stations due to a carriage fight between the companies. The dispute affects DIRECTV Stream and U-verse and it also includes roughly 30 stations owned by Mission Broadcasting and White Knight but managed by Nexstar. That means more than 40 local Fox stations are now missing on DIRECTV and, sorry to report, there’s no indication that the two sides are close to a settlement. So what can you do if you’re missing your Fox affiliate this Sunday when Fox will start airing the first Sunday of NFL regular season games? You have three options:
1. TV Antenna
You can pick up local TV channels, including Fox, with an antenna for free, but it won’t work for everyone. Depending upon where you live, there may be obstacles such as mountains or tall buildings blocking the signal’s path. However, it’s worth a try, particularly since many indoor antennas cost under $30.
2. Free Trial From YouTube TV or Fubo
If you want to watch the game for free rather than pay Peacock, YouTube TV and Fubo, both of which carry NBC, are now offering free trials ranging from seven days to 21 days. You could sign up for the free trial and cancel after the game before you are billed for the first month.
3. The Fox Sports App
Unfortunately, Fox has been prohibiting DIRECTV subscribers in Nexstar markets from using the app to watch national and local feeds of Fox sportscasts. Normally, you could use your DIRECTV user name and password to stream on the Fox Sports app. But that’s now only permitted in non-Nexstar markets. However, you might try it anyway on Sunday. You never know. They might lift the blackout. In addition, if you’re familiar with VPNs (Virtual Private Network), you could use one to disguise your location so the Fox Sports app will think you live outside a Nexstar market. (It’s not illegal, folks, in case you’re wondering.) A VPN is a software that you add to your device, such as a Roku or Smart TV. For more information on VPNs, see this article.
Fox does not have a standalone streaming service that you can subscribe to like CBS’ Paramount Plus or NBC’s Peacock.
Clark, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!