Still No CBS Channels On DIRECTV NOW? Here's Why


If you're a DIRECTV NOW subscriber and still have no CBS channels, you're not alone.

AT&T and CBS announced they had overcome their differences and agreed a new multi-year deal. That was a week ago and since then a number of DIRECTV NOW subscribers have yet to see their channels switched back on.

At the time AT&T and CBS did suggest the channels would return immediately and for some they have. However, social media is awash with complaints from users still waiting for their channels to return.


If that includes you then it is worth making sure you fall into the category that is going to get access to CBS channels again. Yes, there's two camps here and right now one is unlikely to see CBS-owned channels returning soon. We'll explain.

A CBS deal might not apply to you

Yes, AT&T and CBS agreed to a new deal. The problem is AT&T is also in the midst of a separate dispute with Nexstar. While the name Nexstar might not mean that much to you as a subscriber, Nexstar provides many U.S. viewers with access to a variety of channels. This includes CBS.

In fact, Nexstar claims to be "the largest independent operator of CBS affiliates." Adding that it currently serves thirteen percent of the U.S. Basically, this applies to "more than fourteen million households" in thirty-nine markets.


Needless to say, that's a fairly significant number of households and this is likely to be why a CBS viewer in the U.S. still cannot access CBS channels via DIRECTV NOW.

Regardless of the AT&T/CBS deal, Nexstar owns the rights to the channels it manages in select areas. As long as the dispute between AT&T and Nexstar remains in play, so will the blackout. This goes for CBS channels managed by Nexstar.

What's more, this dispute is unlikely to be remedied anytime soon.


No end in sight

Prior to the AT&T/CBS new deal announcement, AT&T made it clear the Nexstar dispute was going to be harder to resolve. In other words, it will take a much longer time to resolve – if it is resolved at all.

From the Nexstar side, a number of its agreements with CBS were due to expire this year. However, a couple of days before the AT&T/CBS agreement announcement, Nexstar and CBS also announced their own new "multi-year agreement." In the last month, both have agreed new years-long deals with CBS, but not with each other.

To sum up. If you're a DIRECTV NOW subscriber, the return of your CBS channels might depend on if they're provided by Nexstar. DIRECTV NOW subscribers can check to see if Nexstar does manage their CBS channels.


Here's the full list of the channels currently operated and managed by Nexstar. Again, if your area's CBS channels are on that list, then there's no indications those channels will return anytime soon.

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Freelance Contributor

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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