How DirecTV, AT&T viewers can watch weekend games on CBS

For the second straight week, a Texans game on CBS affiliate KENS will not be available to DirecTV and U-verse subscribers due to a carriage dispute between station owner Tegna and AT&T. Army and Navy will also be unavailable.

Brett Kummer/Staff Photographer

A corporate carriage dispute, now in its second weekend, will force some football fans to once again find alternatives to watching the weekend games.

Tegna, the parent company of local CBS affiliate KENS, is embroiled in a pricing dispute with AT&T, owner of cable/satellite services such as DirecTV and U-verse. As a result, KENS disappeared on these systems on November 30.

CBS will broadcast the annual Army-Navy football game at 2:00 pm CT Saturday from Foxborough, Massachusetts. Sunday features the Houston Texans-New York Jets game at noon in East Rutherford, New Jersey, followed by the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs game at 3:25 pm from Kansas City, Missouri.

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The Texans’ game on Sunday is the second of four in a row scheduled to air on CBS. The Texans, currently in contention for an AFC playoff spot, also have games at Tennessee on Dec. 17 and at home against Cleveland on Christmas Eve to be shown on CBS.

“Tegna is concerned about all our viewers,” the company said in a statement. “That’s why we sent our first proposal to DirecTV back in September – to allow enough time to reach a fair settlement. It’s unfortunate that DirecTV chose not to seriously engage with us during this time and waited almost a week after our contract expired to respond to our latest offer. However, we are prepared to work around the clock to reach a deal and have shared an updated offer with DirecTV that may allow us to achieve this goal.

“If DirecTV is serious about doing right by consumers, it will work with us to immediately reach a deal that restores our stations before any of their subscribers miss another moment of college or NFL football, valuable news and information, or other valuable programming our stations deliver every day. In the meantime, we continue to remind DirecTV subscribers that our stations remain available on nearly all other cable and satellite services nationwide and are always available free-to-air.”

Rob Thune, DirecTV’s chief content officer, told the Dallas Morning News that Tegna pulling its 64 stations from AT&T services is “disappointing, but certainly not surprising.”

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“Tegna is the latest to perpetuate what has become the status quo for US broadcasters, using its territorial exclusivity and blackouts to extort ever-higher rates for programs that remain free-to-air” , he said. “We just can’t do this anymore. These price increases are unsustainable for the average consumer. This is a deeply broken model that undermines trust, eliminates choice and continues to dig ever deeper into the wallets of our already taxed customers.”

For subscribers of AT&T-owned services, there are several alternatives for watching this weekend’s games if they can’t watch with family or friends who have access to KENS.

The streaming service Paramount+’s Essential plan, which is $5.99 per month, streams NFL games “as long as the game is on your local CBS station,” according to its website. This service will only stream locally broadcast NFL games, not other CBS programming. This means that college football or other NFL games cannot be accessed under the Essential plan. A free 30-day trial is available with promo code STREAMNFL.

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Other streaming options include YouTube TV, which has KENS in its channel lineup and comes with a free trial. Hulu + Live TV also carries KENS, but doesn’t offer a free trial.

For those with the NFL Sunday Ticket bundle on YouTube TV, this is not an option as games broadcast on local stations are blacked out.

September Downing contributed to this report.

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