Some fans can’t watch debut of new-look Pistons on Fox Sports Detroit

Detroit News

Rod Beard
| The Detroit News

The Pistons open the preseason Friday night at Little Caesars Arena, their first competitive game in nine months because of the pandemic. The game against the Knicks begins at 7 p.m.

As the NBA tries to get back to normal, there will be basketball, but there won’t be any fans in attendance at the arena. That’ll leave most Pistons fans to watch from home on Fox Sports Detroit.

That won’t be as easy as it had been previously.

Many fans who are used to finding FSD on their streaming systems — including YouTube TV, Hulu Live and Sling — no longer have access. Many of the streaming services dropped the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns FSD, from their channel lists after they failed to reach agreements on broadcast costs.

FSD is available on several cable providers, such as AT&T TV, DirecTV and Xfinity, but for some, it’s only available on the higher tiers.

Subscription: Niyo: New band of Pistons plans on reviving old flavor of Detroit basketball

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NBA League Pass, which is available on most streaming platforms, has a blackout for local games, so the Pistons won’t be available for viewers in the Detroit area. The remainder of the full league schedule costs $199 for the season. 

Many fans were able to watch Tigers games this summer on FSD before many of the streaming services discontinued their agreements with Sinclair.

If the situation with Sinclair is not resolved soon, Red Wings and Tigers fans who watch via their streaming services may be shut out in 2021, as well.

The Red Wings are likely to report to training camp on Dec. 28 and will jump right into their 56-game regular season on Jan. 13, with no preseason contests.

MLB hopes to return to a full 162-game schedule in 2021, and for that to happen, the Tigers would have to get their season underway, presumably, in the last week of March or first week in April.

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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