Carriage disputes between media companies have been big news heading into the 2023 football season. Charter/Spectrum, one of the nation's largest cable providers is in a high-profile dispute with Disney. That's blocked ESPN for millions.

A lesser-known but longer-lasting dispute is happening between DirecTV and Nexstar. Perhaps you really have never heard of Nexstar, they are the parent company of many of the local TV stations across the county. For Lions fans in Michigan looking for the NFL season opener Thursday night against the Chiefs, if you're in West Michigan you may be out of luck.

The reason is that Nexstar owns WOOD-TV, the NBC affiliate for Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo - Battle Creek. With the Thursday night Lions/Chiefs game on NBC, WOOD-TV is currently blocked for DirectTV subscribers.

So if you are in that situation, here are some possible remedies:

The one NBC/Comcast would like is for you to subscribe to Peacock which will be streaming the game. (This remedy is actually one of the key issues in the Spectrum vs Disney fight: Media companies like Disney and NBC/Comcast want you, the consumer, to pay them directly to access their content rather than split anything with the middleman cable/satellite company.)

The TV Answer Man also recommends the good-old rabbit ears. An antenna will allow you to pick up the over-the-air broadcasts (yes, that's still a thing) of NBC.

Other than a rash switching of providers, that's about it, Lions fans. So as these media conglomerates fight, not for you like their propaganda suggests, but over how they divvy up your money, you are stuck not getting the content you thought you were paying for.

Want to know who will have no trouble seeing whatever they want to watch? The ultra-rich who would have the coin to not only get every possible media service but could just take a private jet to the sporting event they want to see - and probably sit in the owners' box.

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