YouTube TV loses regional Fox sports channels

It wasn't able to reach a deal with Sinclair after months of negotiations.

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Mariella Moon
September 30, 2020 8:25 AM
HUNT VALLEY, MD - APRIL 03:  The headquarters of the Sinclair Broadcast Group is shown April 3, 2018 in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The company, the largest owner of local television stations in the United States, has drawn attention recently for repeating claims by U.S President Donald Trump that traditional television and print publications offer "fake" or biased news.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Starting on October 1st, YouTube TV will no longer have access to Fox regional sports channels owned by Sinclair. If you’ll recall, the Google-owned streaming TV service first announced that it would no longer carry Fox Regional Sports Networks back in February, because it was “unable to reach an agreement” with the broadcaster. The two companies were able to arrange an extension that would give subscribers continued access to the channels while hashing out the terms of the deal. Clearly, they weren’t able to come to an agreement yet again even after months of negotiations.

YouTube TV has announced the development on Twitter, where it also revealed that subscribers will lose access to their previous Fox sports channel recordings. The service explained that the extension it negotiated was only meant to last until the end of the 2020 MLB, NHL and NBA seasons. “Now that the seasons are over, that extension is expiring,” its announcement reads.

The service didn’t say why they weren’t able to reach a deal, but back when the dispute with Sinclair was first revealed, it pointed Engadget to its attempt at balancing the climbing costs of sports broadcasting with delivering a good value to subscribers. It’s worth noting that the extension it negotiated with Sinclair didn’t include the Yankees’ YES Network, which it dropped completely after February. In a statement posted on Twitter, YES Network said “YouTube TV, for its own selfish reasons, refuse to pay the market rate and accept market terms and conditions that other YES distributors have agreed to.”

It’s unclear how many channels the service is losing exactly due to conflicting numbers in various sources, but it’s between 19 and 21. YouTube TV sets subscribers back at least $65 a month — or almost double its launch price — after a $15 price increase back in June.

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YouTube TV loses regional Fox sports channels