TV Blackouts Will Only Get Worse

Whether you still use a coaxial cable to watch television or have converted to streaming, get used to channel blackouts and general confusion over which TV services carry your favorite programs.

Signal disruptions, or blackouts, spiked in the U.S. last year. They involved 29 TV stations, data from Kagan-S&P Global Market Intelligence show, and more than 200 markets were affected, according to the American Television Alliance, a group that lobbies for cable and satellite providers. And that’s just for broadcast signals. It doesn’t capture situations like the recent removal of HBO and Cinemax, two premium cable networks, from Dish Network Corp.’s lineup, including from its Sling TV streaming app.