Fox Sports Regional Networks has struck a multi-year carriage renewal with Cox Communications, marking a quietly struck deal that keeps 15 Fox regional sports networks on one of the larger US cable distributors.
Arriving without any prior public rancor or open negotiation, Fox RSNs will remain available to Cox’ roughly 4 million pay-TV homes, with the timing particularly important as those channels are a key everyday home for Major League Baseball teams, and the 2019 season in that sport is now a little more than a month away from the playoffs.
The distribution deal covers Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports West, and SportsTime Ohio.
“This long-term renewal reinforces the value the RSNs provide to the fans,” said Mike Angus, Fox Sports Regional Networks head of distribution.
The Fox RSNS, meanwhile, remain n the middle of being sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group, with that $10.6bn (€9.7bn) deal awaiting regulatory approval. But the Cox renewal represents a key carriage underpinning that will transfer to the new ownership.
The Cox deal also contrasts sharply against Fox’s ongoing issues with Dish Network and Sling TV, as the RSNs are not currently being carried on those platforms amid ongoing distribution battles.