As some of you surely already know, if you are a Dish Network or Sling TV subscriber and were planning on sitting down to watch the Washington State Cougars take on the Utah Utes on Saturday night, you won’t be able to: FS1 is currently unavailable on both of those services, as Dish (which owns Sling) and Fox are locked in a dispute that has caused all Fox properties to go dark until a new carriage agreement is reached.
That also means you’ll be missing out on the Kansas Jayhawks at TCU Horned Frogs (hey, there are actually Jayhawks fans out there!), Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Wolverines, and Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan State Spartans on various Fox-owned cable channels. If your market’s local affiliate is owned by Fox (not the case in Seattle, but true elsewhere) you could miss out on Texas Tech Red Raiders at Oklahoma Sooners and USC Trojans at Washington Huskies. Plus, if it’s not figured out by Sunday and you’re still without your local Fox affiliate, you would miss your local NFL game.
If you’ve been a Dish subscriber for any length of time, this is probably not your first rodeo with carriage interruptions, but it might legitimately be the first time you’ve been desperate enough to seek an alternative.
Your first thought might be to head to a bar, and there are loads of WSU Alumni Association watch parties all over the country.
However, you might want to watch the game from the comfort of your own home. Most of you know that switching cable providers is a pretty major hassle (which is what most carriers are counting on) and it’s too late in the game for that, anyway.
So here are your best solutions: Streaming services that carry FS1, offer free trials, and are able to be streamed to your TV via a device — because nobody likes to watch their game on a laptop or phone if they don’t have to.
YouTube TV carries FS1, offers a free trial, and there’s a pretty decent chance you already have a device that will allow it to be streamed to your TV without running it through your computer: Many recent model smart TVs have the YouTube TV app built in or you can use streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV or Xbox One. (But not Fire TV, yet.)
For what it’s worth, I recently made the permanent switch from Comcast to YouTube TV and have been really impressed with the service, which I have used on an Xbox One, Roku stick, MacBook Pro (2013 model), iPhone Xr, and Acer Windows 10 Tablet. You can check out an overview of the service here. The only downside of a permanent switch is that it doesn’t carry Pac-12 Networks. But that’s really the only downside.
And no, I’m not receiving any compensation for this glowing review. It really is a pretty great service.
Hulu, Playstation VUE, and FuboTV
These are very similar services to YouTube TV and also offer free trials. I have not used either of them, so I can’t vouch for their quality, but they’re available on most of the same steaming devices. Hulu appears to be very similar to YouTube TV in terms of platform availability, plus it’s available on Fire TV and Nintendo Switch consoles.
The notable exceptions for VUE are that it’s not available on most smart TVs — unless it’s an Android TV (mostly Sony) — and not available on Xbox One. But it’s available on PS3 and PS4, and it’s also available on Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire Stick. FuboTV is on some Samsung smart TVs and streamable through most of the same devices as the other services, but not gaming consoles.
Godspeed, everyone. If you have experience with Playstation VUE or FuboTV, leave some feedback below. And if you have specific questions, leave those below, too.