As pointed out by CordCuttersNews, these affiliates are owned and operated by Nexstar Media Group, a television broadcasting company that owns or operates around 170 TV stations across the country. In November 2017, Nexstar announced that it had reached "mutually satisfactory agreements" with three of the big four networks for participation in live TV streaming services like DirecTV Now and PS Vue, and then throughout 2018 a few local affiliates began trickling out for select cities.
This week, however, it appears like a wide rollout of local affiliates has begun on DirecTV Now. Over the past 24 hours on Reddit, users have mentioned seeing the following local stations:
- WIAT in Birmingham, Alabama
- WIVB in Buffalo, New York
- KOIN in Portland, Oregon
- WNCN in Raleigh, North Carolina
- WROC in Rochester, New York
- WCMH in Columbus, Ohio
- KXAN in Austin, Texas
- WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- WKRN in Nashville, Tennessee
- WRIC in Richmond, Virginia
- WTNH in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut
The addition of local stations greatly adds to the convenience and value of OTT services, given that without these stations cord cutters don't have the chance to get local news or watch TV shows on one the big four networks (ABC, FOX, NBC, and CBS). While services like Hulu and CBS All Access supplement missed shows on many of these networks, they require additional monthly fees to be added on top of the cost of DirecTV Now or PS Vue.
As some Redditors are sharing, the expanded rollout means that many DirecTV Now subscribers in cities like Buffalo and Austin now have access to all of their local channels. CordCuttersNews reports that those Nexstar stations not yet added could still be coming down the line, since some -- including a "handful of NBC affiliates" -- have deals that are not set to be renewed until later in 2018, at which time the OTT-related agreements are expected to be added to contracts with these stations.
DirecTV Now's last big update came in May with the launch of its "True Cloud DVR" in a wide beta. The feature lets subscribers record 20 hours of shows and movies on DirecTV Now, and sync their recordings across devices like the Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. The same update also brought a few UI changes that renamed "Watchlist" to "Bookmarks," and aimed to make search more "customizable" so that users spend more time watching shows and less time navigating menus.