Sinclair, YouTube TV Ink Carriage Deal for 19 of 21 Fox RSNs; YES Network Dropped
The agreement does not cover Prime Ticket, Fox Sports West, YES, or Marquee Sports Network
Sinclair Broadcast Group has reached a deal with YouTube TV for the streaming service to continue to carry 19 of its 21 Fox regional sports networks; however, the deal does not include the Southern California-based Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West or YES Network, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees, Sinclair, and Amazon. YouTube TV also has yet to agree to a carriage deal for Marquee Sports Network, which launched last month and is co-owned by the Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group.
“We are pleased that YouTube TV was able to agree to terms on 19 of our RSNs and that they will continue to provide subscribers with access to some of the most in-demand sports networks in the nation,” said David Gibber, SVP/General Counsel, Sinclair. “Millions of fans across the country tune into sports content daily, and, at Sinclair, our goal is to make this as widely accessible as possible.”
Google’s YouTube TV OTT service will continue to carry Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Sun, and SportsTime Ohio. The deal runs through the end of the 2020 MLB season, according to Variety.
However, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West will no longer be carried on YouTube TV, effective immediately.
“We value our ongoing relationship with YouTube TV,” said Gibber. “However, we are deeply disappointed with its decision to not carry certain RSNs. We offered competitive market terms, but, ultimately, YouTube TV declined. We encourage YouTube TV subscribers who value these RSNs to turn to other streaming services or their local cable or satellite provider for continued access or to directly contact YouTube TV with feedback.”
According to a statement tweeted by YouTube TV, subscribers who will continue to have access to local Fox RSNs received a follow-up email confirming details on Thursday; those who will lose access to their local Fox RSNs received an in-app notification confirming the change.
“We don’t take this decision lightly and will continue to do our best to make YouTube TV a best-in-class experience,” said YouTube TV’s statement. “Our goal is to be as transparent as possible with you, so we sincerely apologize for any confusion our ongoing negotiations have caused. Thank you for your membership as we continue to work on making YouTube TV the best way to stream TV.”
YES Network had already tweeted out a statement on Thursday that YouTube TV was dropping the tri-state–based RSN.
“YouTube TV, for its own selfish reasons and with total disregard for its YES customers, has refused to pay the market rate and accept market terms and conditions that other YES distributors have agreed to,” said the YES statement. “In fact, YouTube TV sought a rate that was well below what other YES distributors are paying, and, because YES keeps its word to all of its distributors, it could not make the deal. When YouTube TV realized it could not get a sweetheart, below-market deal, it dropped the YES Network.
“Sinclair, for its own reasons, elected to make a deal for some but not all of its programming services, which excluded large-market RSNs featuring iconic franchises and star players,” YES continued. “The New York Yankees have made it clear to Major League Baseball and YouTube TV that the Yankees will not appear on any national games televised by YouTube TV through its national telecast agreement with Major League Baseball. We urge all of our fans to go to YESNetwork.com to see the list of other streaming services and other distributors that carry the YES Network. With YouTube TV no longer carrying YES, it appears as though YouTube TV customers will pay the same while getting less.”
YouTube TV’s carriage deal for the Fox RSNs and YES had been set to expire Feb. 28 at midnight ET, but Google agreed to a temporary contract extension with Sinclair while the two sides worked out a new distribution deal. No announcement was made regarding Marquee Sports Network’s future status on YouTube TV. The streaming service had more than 2 million subscribers at the end of 2019, according to Google.