UPDATED with Sinclair announcement:
YouTube TV, the OTT platform owned by Google, has inked a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group and will drop YES Network, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West from its lineup but renew carriage of 19 other regional sports networks owned by the broadcaster.
Sinclair said Wednesday that the streaming service will continue to carry 19 of its 21 Fox RSNs, including 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.
“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, senior VP and general counsel of 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.”
“We value our ongoing relationship with YouTube TV, however, we are deeply disappointed with its decision to not carry certain RSNs. We offered competitive market terms but, ultimately, YouTube TV declined,” said Gibber. “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.”
The news came after YES Network announced overnight that YouTube TV was dropping the channel, in which Sinclair has a minority stake.
“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. 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,” said YES Network.
“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. 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,” the statement said.
When talks first broke down and YouTube TV on Feb. 27 that it would be dropping all Sinclair-owned RSNs, it said: “Despite our best efforts, we have 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 several other TV services have also decided to remove Fox Regional Sports Networks from their lineups,” YouTube TV said at the time.
Dish Network and Sling TV dropped 16 Fox RSNs last summer. Subscription service FuboTV did the same in January. Sinclair continues to negotiate with Comcast.