Armchair NFL fan? Plan ahead in case Verizon Fios-Tegna dispute drags on

Armchair NFL fans with Verizon FiOS who are hoping to watch Sunday's Chargers-Ravens wild card game on Channel 9 should consider making alternative viewing plans. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/turk_stock_photographer)

WASHINGTON — Armchair NFL fans with Verizon FiOS who are hoping to watch Sunday’s Chargers-Ravens wild card game on WUSA/Channel 9 should consider making alternative viewing plans.

Thanks to an ongoing contract dispute, Channel 9 is still blacked out on FiOS.

The money-related programming conflict is between Tegna, which is Channel 9’s parent company, and Verizon, and there’s no sign when it will end. In fact, the dispute appears to be getting worse.

Verizon announced Wednesday afternoon that Tegna was no longer negotiating with them, the Washington Business Journal reported.

One option for Ravens fans with FiOS is to livestream the game through a provider such as fuboTV, Hulu Plus, or YouTube TV.

“There’s a bunch of them out there, and most of them give you a seven day trial period,” said Ken Colburn of Data Doctors.

For example, CBS All Access offers a one-week free trial and Hulu offers streaming from top sports networks like CBS and live NFL and NCAA football through a free trial for new subscribers and eligible existing subscribers.

Another idea? Buy an HDTV antenna to pick up Channel 9’s free over-the-air signal.

“Fortunately they’re really inexpensive. They’re $20 to $30. There’s lots of them on Amazon. In fact, Amazon itself has an Amazon Basics line of indoor antennas that work really well,” said Colburn. “The single most important thing to ensure that you get the best possible signal is make sure you get an HDTV antenna that comes with its own amplifier.”

If you live in an urban area you shouldn’t have any problem picking up major local channels, but Colburn said you can plug your address into TV Fool to find out which direction the broadcast signals are coming from so you can best position your antenna.

The FCC has a helpful guide to antennas and digital TV. Colburn also shared a very useful tool for comparing various streaming services.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Amazon Prime members can get a 30-day free trail of CBS All Access. 

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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