2019 Belmont Stakes: Fans Upset After DirecTV Blacks out Local New York NBC Before Race

Horse racing fans hoping to catch Saturday's big race on DirecTV will have to turn to other services. Due to an expired retransmission agreement between AT&T and DirecTV, subscribers won't be able to tune into NBC affiliate stations.

As a result of disagreements between the network and AT&T/DirecTV, people using the provider won't see the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. People are understandably outraged about it, and held nothing back when discussing it on social media.

In addition to missing Belmont Stakes, DirecTV subscribers won't see Saturday's Stanley Cup Finals matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins either. It's not the first game DirecTV has blacked out since the retransmission agreement expired, and hockey fans are as angry as horse racing fans about it.

NBC15 revealed on May 30 that DirecTV would no longer be carrying WPMI, a Mobile, Alabama, affiliate station, because of the issues between the service provider and national network. NBC15 apologized for "the inconvenience" it would bring to AT&T/DirecTV subscribers who were fans of the shows, sports and news shown on the channel.

Until an agreement is reached between NBC and AT&T/DirecTV, customers will have to go without. NBC15 urged people to call the company and complain, or reach out on their website, through Facebook or on Twitter about it.

A retransmission consent is a process where cable and satellite companies must negotiate with owners of television stations for the right to feature those stations on their systems. It's required by federal law, NBC15 explained. Television stations can make a must-carry election, which requires cable providers to host their network for a three-year period, however NBC did not opt for such an agreement with DirecTV.


NBC15 explained that while local news affiliate stations are available at no cost with the use of an antenna, companies like DirecTV do not have the right to resell their content without compensating them. The local affiliate station likened it to local radio, which most people must pay to access through services like SiriusXM Radio.

People who pay for DirecTV can still access streams of Belmont Stakes on nbcsports.com. Those with other cable providers can find it on NBC. It will also air on MSG+ and FS2 at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET respectively. The Stanley Cup Finals will be available for streaming on fuboTV, which you can access for free for seven days. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.