What may come as a major disappointment to some, beginning February 29, YouTube TV users will lose access to FOX Regional Sports Networks, which includes the YES Network for the New York area. This is due to the inability for YouTube TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of these networks, to strike a continuing distribution agreement.
The announcement comes straight from YouTube TV’s official Twitter account. On Twitter, the company states, “This is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content. You may have noticed several other TV services have also decided to remove FOX Regional Sports Networks from their lineups.”
We’ve condensed the thread for you below.
To bring you 70+ channels, we have contracts with content owners that are periodically renegotiated. Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of FOX Regional Sports Networks and YES Network, is one of the largest owners of local TV stations in the US.
We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you. Despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair. As a result, we will no longer offer FOX Regional Sports Networks, including YES Network, beginning February 29th.
We do not take this decision lightly. This is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content. You may have noticed several other TV services have also decided to remove FOX Regional Sports Networks from their lineups.
Thank you for your membership as we strive to build the best possible streaming experience for you. You will receive an email today if you’re impacted by this change.
If you’re curious if this affects you, it more than likely does if you get your sports from a regional FOX Sports network. The big one that comes to mind is the YES Network, which is home to the New York Yankees. The list of networks that fall under the regional category can be viewed on Wikipedia here.
What will be interesting to see is what YouTube TV does to make up for this. Since the company will essentially be saving money without this agreement in place, will the service add something else to continue offering a $50/month-worthy package? That remains to be seen, but don’t expect the monthly price to be lowered due to the loss of FOX Regional Sports Networks.
Update (2/29): According to the Team YouTube account on Twitter, a temporary extension has been agreed to between YouTube TV and the Sinclair Broadcast Group. This is good news. Below is what the account posted.
We have agreed to a temporary extension! FOX Regional Sports Networks and YES Network are still available on YouTube TV while we work to reach an agreement. We’ll be sure to share an update as soon as we have more info on a potential timeline. More to come!
So for now, don’t stress about cancelling YouTube TV and finding another place to stream your sports. The hope is that both companies can get this settled, but we’ll keep you posted.
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