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National Football League

Options exists for football fans caught in the cold due to DirecTV, KXJB dispute

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It's a football fan's worst nightmare.

DirecTV customers in the Detroit Lakes will be without local CBS affiliate KXJB as a result of a dispute over carriage fees between the two companies.

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Unless it is resolved quickly, that means NFL fans will have to find another way to watch the AFC playoff games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans is set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the San Diego Chargers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday starting at 3:45 p.m.

The easiest workaround is to use an antenna, whether it is the indoor rabbit-ears type or an outdoor mast. But the distance between the KXJB's tower in Valley City, N.D. and Detroit Lakes makes reception difficult at best.

Another option on the table is switching providers. Arvig said they will perform installations during the weekend if customers make a one-year commitment.

Both Arvig and Dish Network are carrying KXJB. Arvig also carries WCCO, CBS's affiliate for the Twin Cities market.

Local bars and restaurants, if they don't rely on DirecTV, should be showing the game. A call to Zorbaz confirmed they have Arvig and will show the games.

Then there's one method that the NFL does not want the general public to know about and that is watching the games via the Internet.

Since the NFL does not offer an authorized method to watch games over the Internet, it is illegal to broadcast games online to viewers in the United States.

Nonetheless, the Web site Justin.tv shows the games on a variety of channels.

The downside of Justin.tv is that the channels showing the game often get shut down during the action. Or the channels get so busy that they get overloaded and the video becomes choppy.

There are plenty of other Web sites that also state they show games. Buyer beware for those, as some are scams asking for money for Internet links to games shown on Justin.tv or other free sites, and other sites are set up to install viruses and spyware.

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