You grab a snack and sit down to watch your favorite program, only to be met by a message from your satellite or TV provider that a “dispute” between the provider and the network or station owner is preventing the station from airing in your area.

In our home market, ABC affiliate 13WHAM pulled from Direct TV (owned by AT&T) in May, and CBS affiliate WROC-TV followed suit in July. Contract negotiations for WHAM remain at a stand-still.

What now? These contract negotiations can take a while! What’s the best way to be able to tune in to local channels and your favorite shows?

Luckily, there are a lot of options. Which option you choose depends on your personal preferences for TV watching:

  • There’s always cable! Cancel your current satellite provider and sign up with your local cable provider. This option may be cost-effective, since they typically give the best rates to new customers, but you probably have to sign a long-term contract.
  • Cut the Cord! Break up with your satellite provider and cable systems, buy an antenna, and get the local channels. Antennae have come a long way from the days of giant rabbit ears!
  • Stream it! Several streaming services now offer local channels. Hulu, LiveTV, and YouTube TV both offer local channels in many markets. And, the cost per month is typically cheaper than cable. But do your research, not all channels are offered in every market.
  • Take Action! Make your voice heard and call DirectTV customer service and request they reinstall your favorite channels. DirectTV customer service can be reached at 1-800-531-5000.

These are just a few of the ways to access your local channels if you find yourself without your favorite local news channel. Missing a favorite show is never fun, but with all the different ways we now have to view programming, you shouldn’t be in the dark for too long!