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Here’s how to watch CBS channels after blackout cuts off DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse customers

A look at recent arrivals and departures of Sacramento TV personalities

There have been a lot of changes in the television broadcast landscape of Sacramento. Here's a look at the past six months, who's come and who's gone where.
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There have been a lot of changes in the television broadcast landscape of Sacramento. Here's a look at the past six months, who's come and who's gone where.

Sacramento-area residents who’ve lost the ability to watch “Big Brother,” “Good Day Sacramento” and several options for local and national TV news have been left scrambling to regain CBS viewing capabilities.

A falling out between CBS and AT&T’s DirecTV and U-Verse has blacked out multiple channels on the latter two TV provider services in several major media markets, including Sacramento.

Local subscribers have had channels including CBS 13 (KOVR) and CW 31 (KMAX) blacked out since Saturday morning, after CBS and AT&T Corp. failed to reach a deal by 11 p.m. Pacific time Friday.

“While we continue to negotiate in good faith and hope that AT&T agrees to fair terms soon, the loss of CBS programming could last a long time,” CBS said in a statement Saturday morning.

However, there are still a few methods to get back access to these channels. Almost all of them cost money or come with a few caveats.

Local affiliate CBS 13 now has a banner atop the front page of its website, telling viewers: “Call 855-5-KEEPCBS and demand they return your CBS lineup.”

Viewers are also encouraged to visit keepcbs.com, which offers updates about the blackout situation.

How to watch CBS during blackout

  • Some CBS content, including full episodes of several programs, can be found for free at www.cbs.com. However, live broadcasts are not available on the CBS base website.
  • CBS’ All Access streaming service offers CBS programming including live TV, sports, original series. The app is available for Apple TV, Android, iPhone, Google Chromecast and other platforms that can be accessed from a PC, tablet, phone or smart TV.
  • You’re probably not using a TV with an antenna on top of it , but CBS does still broadcast an over-the-air digital signal. A digital antenna can receive CBS 13, CW 31 and other locally available CBS channels. An internet search shows digital antennas can run as little as $12, but do your research: Make sure the antenna has long enough range to reach your nearest transmitter.
  • DirecTV customers with a “Genie receiver” can still use the product to access the provider’s local channel connector, which can still be used to view local CBS channels, an AT&T spokesman told The Sacramento Bee over the weekend.
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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
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