The biggest one right now is between cable giant Charter Spectrum and Tribune Media, who own a number of local channels across more than twenty markets. There are a number of markets out there who have lost networks like Fox and CBS, and there is no immediate sign that this is changing — and that’s not good. Tonight, Fox is premiering the final season of Gotham. Meanwhile, one of the biggest comedies on TV in Last Man Standing premieres tomorrow, and that’s without mentioning the NFL playoffs over the weekend. The fear of losing those games in particular could be enough motivation to get a deal done sooner rather than later.
At the moment, though, over 30 local channels in total are dark — that happened earlier Wednesday morning across Charter’s TV system.
So where does this put viewers? Well, there are a number of different solutions.
Hulu or YouTube TV – If you’re disappointed that you won’t be able to contribute to the live ratings for a show like Gotham or Last Man Standing, Nielsen is working to track views for a number of different forms of viewing through these two online broadcasters. It’s a good way to still show some support for your favorite show, even if there are still some inconveniences. (You may be able to get a free trial to YouTube TV depending on where you live — you may end up liking it more than the package you have.)
If you are looking for a way to watch football this weekend, we’d turn in the direction of the NFL Mobile or Yahoo Sports apps.
Switching cable providers – We wouldn’t recommend this right now, mostly because these sort of disputes don’t tend to last an altogether long time — every now and then you get an exceptional, but we’re talking about local channels here and that makes a difference.
Waiting it out – This may not be the most favorable option to dealing with the dispute, but like we said, we think the NFL broadcasts are going to amplify pressure to get a deal done here rather quickly. Just know that with most major Fox shows, this won’t have a huge impact on their future. Last Man Standing is a lock for renewal, The Cool Kids is likely safe, and Gotham is ending. The one show we feel particularly bad for is The Orville because it needs this viewership.
We’ll keep you up to date if there are some more updates on this situation in the immediate future. Just know that this situation is certainly not ideal for anyone.
Are you especially upset over this standout because of programs or football? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: Fox.)