Many Spurs fans will not be able to watch games to start season, here’s why

Popular streaming services like YouTubeTV, Hulu, Sling dropped Fox Sports regional networks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 07: Lonnie Walker IV #1 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball against Georges Niang #31 of the Utah Jazz and Ed Davis #17 of the Utah Jazz at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 07, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) (Kevin C. Cox, 2020 Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs released the team’s broadcast schedule on Thursday for the first half of the 2020-21 regular season that tips off next week.

A total of 35 out of the 37 games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and that has left many Spurs fans scrambling to figure out viewing options.

Many popular streaming services such as YouTubeTV, Hulu and Sling have dropped the Fox Sports regional networks, which include FSSW, from their channel lineup.

This is not an issue that’s unique to Spurs nation. Fox Sports regional networks broadcast live games for nearly half of the league from the West to East Coast.

NBA League Pass is not an option either because the service “blacks out” the local team in their respective market, meaning Spurs games can only be seen by someone living outside the San Antonio designated market.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been outspoken on the subject. Fox Sports Southwest carries Mavericks games along with the Spurs.

Cuban told the media on Dec. 8 that he thought “YouTube TV and some of the others will come to their senses.”

“From my perspective as a businessperson, I understood why they cut off the deal and didn’t renew because there were no games being played. But now that there are games being played and obviously it’s a big deal to a lot of people, and they’re hearing that from their customers, I think there’s a lot of incentive for them to fix that,” said Cuban via the Dallas Morning News.

The long-time Mavericks owner said with regular season games about to start, “all those contracts are, hopefully, being renegotiated.”

Cuban added that other league owners felt strongly that streaming platforms would have to come around.

“Fans want the games, period, end of story,” said Cuban. “And that’s not good for their business, particularly when you’ve got, particularly, Hulu saying ‘Hulu has live sports’ and now they don’t. So that’s really a strategic branding issue that they’re going to have to address.”

According to the website, Fox Sports Southwest is still carried locally by Spectrum and DIRECTV.

AT&T TV is another option for Spurs fans. Fox Sports Southwest has been televising Spurs games since 1987.

You can see the full broadcast schedule for the first half of the season here. The Spurs open the regular season at Memphis on Dec. 23.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.