With Monday’s news that DirecTV customers may lose access to Fox’s flagship sports channels beginning Friday, several Iowans could have their upcoming Cy-Hawk viewing plans disrupted in multiple sports.
Citing a breakdown in negotiations, Fox said on the website keepfox.com that “DirecTV (satellite), DirecTV Stream and U-Verse customers — both linear and on the app — across the country could be impacted and may lose access to FOX Sports, FS1, FS2, FOX Deportes and Big Ten Network” beginning at midnight Friday. Local Fox stations owned and operated by Fox could be affected too.
So, how exactly does this potentially impact Iowans?
Sunday’s wrestling dual between Iowa and Iowa State is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network. Next Thursday’s men’s basketball game between Iowa and Iowa State is scheduled for 7 p.m. on FS1. Should these negotiations fall through, Iowans with DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and U-Verse wouldn’t be able to watch either event. Future Hawkeyes men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling events could be impacted too, depending on how long a potential blackout lasts.
This isn’t the first time Iowans have been squeezed amid these kinds of disputes. Mediacom customers in the Des Moines area and Quad Cities went without ABC for more than a year amid a dispute with TEGNA, which left many Iowans unable to watch Lisa Bluder’s Hawkeyes in the NCAA Tournament and the 2021 Cy-Hawk football game.
Fortunately, as was the case then, there are methods to work around this Fox-DirectTV spat. Here are ways to watch the upcoming Cy-Hawk wrestling dual and men’s basketball game if you are an impacted Iowan.
Fox Sports App
Although Fox included that app and streaming usage may also be affected, it’s worth trying to see if the login associated with your DirectTV or U-Verse account works here.
If you've already created a login online with your satellite account info, then simply use it to log into the Fox Sports app or website. All sporting events aired on BTN and FS1 appear here. Plus, the Fox Sports app is readily available on all streaming devices, phones and computers.
Again, this option may be turned off as well. But it should be method No. 1 since it doesn’t require signing up for anything or inputting credit card info.
If you've been on the fence about cutting cable and shifting to a streaming service, then perhaps this is the time to do so. Many of the main streaming options — YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV and SlingTV — offer Big Ten Network and FS1 on their packages. And, if you just want to go this route only for next week’s events, some of these services offer a free trial for new customers. Just make sure to cancel before the trial period ends to avoid getting charged.
YouTube TV: Base plan is $54.99/month for first three months, then $64.99/month. There is a 2-day free trial.
Hulu + Live TV: Base plan is $69.99/month. There is no free trial right now.
FuboTV: Plans start at $69.99/month. There is a 7-day free trial.
Sling: Plans start at $40/month. There is no free trial, but you can get half off the first month.
VidGo: Plans start at $59.95/month. There is no free trial.
What about Iowa's local Fox stations?
While the initial release said sports programming on local Fox stations could also be disrupted — including big events like the World Cup, Saturday’s Big Ten title game and the weekly Sunday NFL slate — this is only somewhat true.
Only the Fox-owned-and-operated local stations will be potentially disrupted. That will mostly just affect stations in bigger cities, with Fox including Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix and Houston on its FAQ. This media report lists all the local Fox stations that would be impacted.
None of Iowa’s five Fox affiliates — KGAN out of Cedar Rapids, KLJB out of Davenport, KDSM out of Des Moines, KYOU out of Ottumwa and KPTH out of Sioux City — are owned and operated by Fox.
Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Fox-DirecTV programming dispute may affect upcoming Cy-Hawk events