YouTube TV Will Pull Fox Regional Sports Networks, YES Network Feb. 29

A carriage agreement has not been struck with Sinclair Broadcast Group

YouTube TV subscribers will lose 18 sports networks Feb. 29 if no deal is struck YouTube
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With Opening Day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season less than one month away, YouTube TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group are tangled in a carriage dispute involving the Fox Regional Sports Networks and YES Network.

YouTube TV said in a series of tweets Thursday that it will drop the Fox RSNs and YES Feb. 29.

Sinclair spokesman Ronn Torossian said in an emailed statement, “We offered YouTube TV the best terms under which their competitors carry our Regional Sports Networks. Unfortunately, they alone decided to drop these channels, citing ‘rising costs,’ despite our offer to actually lower the fees they pay us. We also offered to continue negotiating under a short-term extension so that their subscribers could continue to watch their favorite hometown teams. They’ve not yet responded to this offer. Given the ease with which YouTube TV subscribers can drop the service and switch providers, we are surprised that they’ve chosen this course. At the very least, you have to imagine that YouTube TV will be receiving lots of questions from subscribers asking about how much they intend to lower the subscription fee given that they are removing some of the most popular and in-demand programming they carry.”

YouTube TV said in its tweets, “We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you. Despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair … We do not take this decision lightly. This is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content. You may have noticed that several other TV services have also decided to remove Fox Regional Sports Networks from their lineups.”

The channels that are impacted by the carriage impasse are: Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida & Sun, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Ohio/SportsTime Ohio, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South & Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket, Fox Sports Wisconsin and YES Network. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.