The FCC took the interesting step of instructing viewers on how to get their favorite programs if they happen to live in an area where a retransmission consent clash, such as the one pitting Northwest Broadcasting against DirecTV, has resulted in stations being dropped.
The Commission has broken it down into simple steps for viewers. The missive reads:
1. Watch the station (and other broadcasting stations) over the air using an antenna and a digital television.
2. Watch the station (and other broadcasting stations) over the air using an antenna and an analog television attached to a digital-to-analog converter box.
3. Subscribe to another pay service that is carrying the station. Available pay services vary based on your location. You should contact the pay service provider to determine whether it provides service to your residence. In addition, you should be aware that different pay TV service providers’ agreements for the same broadcast television station may expire on different dates. Switching to another pay service is not a guarantee that your new service will continue to carry a particular broadcast television station.
4. In addition, some broadcast network programming is available on the Internet, though it is often delayed for some time after its initial broadcast.
The FCC then gives more detailed instructions on getting TV over the air.
The instructions appeared in the FCC’s daily e-newsletter late last week, and are on the Commission’s home page as well.