In September, I wrote a piece explaining my unhappiness with losing access to some NFL games because of a rights dispute between AT&T (parent company of DirecTV and U-Verse) and Nexstar, owner of the local Fox affiliate, KTVI. Because the matter wasn’t settled before the season began, that channel was blocked on our U-Verse feed.

However, I got access to NFL RedZone, which gave me the ability to watch the action from all of the Sunday afternoon games, and I was a happy football fan. But now, I’m in a similar bind — and RedZone can’t save me.

This time, it’s a rights battle between AT&T and Tegna, which owns the local NBC affiliate, KSDK. That station airs two must-see shows in our household: “Jeopardy!” and Sunday Night Football. Fortunately, episodes of the former are being uploaded daily by multiple users to YouTube. Technically, since they don’t own the rights to the show, those user uploads shouldn’t be permitted by the platform, but Sony — which owns “Jeopardy!” and must know about those videos — hasn’t done anything to dissuade them. So, we’re taking advantage and watching each day’s show online.

Sunday Night Football is another issue because — like many St. Louisans — I adopted the Kansas City Chiefs as our home team after Rams owner Stan Kroenke ripped the Rams away and moved them to Los Angeles a few years ago. But since SNF airs on NBC and thus KSDK, and I don’t subscribe to Peacock (which simulcasts the games), I wasn’t going to be able to watch the Chiefs-Packers game at home last night.

So, about 20 minutes before the game, I drove to Satchmo’s, a nearby bar that always has sports on its multiple TVs, and figured I’d have dinner while watching the game. But when I got there, the sign on the door said it closed at 7pm. Damn!

Thinking quickly, I drove about 15 minutes to Brickhouse, another place I know has lots of big screens, would probably be open, and have the game on. Sure enough, when I got there, I could see it on the TVs through the window. But when I walked in the door, I noticed that the bigger screens in the room were displaying a graphic similar to the one I’d seen at home:

Oddly, however, the game was on the TVs above the bar. How was that possible? It turned out those TVs had access to NBC Universo, the Spanish-language network owned by Comcast which also carries Sunday Night Football. The sound was off, but that was fine with me, as long as I had the visuals.

I took a seat at the bar, ordered a beverage and a burger, and settled in to enjoy the game. I got a kick out of seeing the graphics in Spanish — and the closed captioning, too. I’m nowhere near fluent in the language, but I knew enough words to get some context. Even if I couldn’t, I was happy to be able to watch the game.

Sometime late in the first quarter, it occurred to me that NBC Universo might be on the U-Verse lineup at my house. I had never explored those channels, so I wasn’t sure, but a phone call to my wife confirmed that it is available, although not in HD. And since it’s not owned by Tegna, it’s not blocked. That’s how the bar had access to it.

I decided I’d finish my meal and watch the game, then go home at halftime to see the rest. I wasn’t particularly happy with the Chiefs’ performance, which is nowhere near as dominant as it has been the last few seasons. Contrary to the belief of a lot of Chiefs fans, it wasn’t all the referees’ fault. I think the Chiefs really miss former offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who left to perform the same duties for the Washington Commanders (a move he probably regrets every week). Without him, despite having an 8-4 record, the Chiefs look lackluster, unable to move the ball as well as they used to, and seemingly unworthy of a return to the Super Bowl — especially if they have to go through Miami and Baltimore to get there. Sorry, Ms. Swift!

When I got home, I turned on NBC Universo to watch the second half when another idea occurred to me. I know that the radio play-by-play of Sunday Night Football is available through Westwood One Sports, which I can listen to via my Alexa device. So, I turned that on, but quickly realized that the TV and radio broadcasts were not in sync — or even close. The latter was at least five seconds ahead of the former, meaning I could hear entire plays before I could see them. That was useless, so I shut if off and turned up the NBC Universo sound on my TV.

Listening to the Spanish broadcast, I was amused at the announcers’ occasional use of English words, and not just the players’ names. The commercials, most of which were the same in every ad break, did it, too — including untranslated phrases like Popeyes’ “Louisiana Chicken” and Walmart’s “Save Money, Live Better.” And when the Chiefs couldn’t score a come-from-behind touchdown on their last drive to tie things up, the play-by-play man exclaimed in English, “Game Over! Game Over!”

All in all, it wasn’t a horrible alternative, although I missed hearing Cris Collinsworth’s always cogent analysis during the game. I wonder if he was as harsh on the Chiefs offensive strategy as I was inside my head.

Hopefully, the impasse between AT&T and Tegna won’t last much longer. If not, my Spanish vocabulary’s going to be a lot better by the end of the season.