The ongoing carriage battle between Sinclair Broadcast Group and YouTube TV has taken another troubled turn as the streaming provider has dropped some Fox regional sports networks controlled by Sinclair, as well as as the New York-based YES Network.
The parties last weekend had struck a short-term agreement to keep the channels available while negotiations on a new distribution agreement continue. But that agreement has not held in key US media markets such as New York and Los Angeles, and the channels are now dark on the OTT platform in those markets.
The Fox regionals, however, are still listed as available in several other smaller markets such as Atlanta, Miami, and St. Louis. And YouTube tweeted overnight, “We still carry FOX Regional Sports Networks in select areas (based on our agreement with Sinclair). If your area is impacted by a channel loss, you’ll be notified in the YouTube TV app soon.”
YES Network quickly blasted the move in an overnight statement on March 5.
“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,” the network said. “In fact, YouTube TV sought a rate that was well below what other YES distributors are paying….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 YES Network, majority controlled by Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, also said it has informed the league and the Google-owned YouTube TV that the Yankees will not appear in any national games shown by YouTube TV as part of its national-level MLB rights deal.
Interestingly, Sinclair is a minority investor in the YES Network along with Amazon and RedBird Capital. Amazon earlier this week made a deal to show 21 Yankees games on its Amazon Prime Video service.
Sling TV and fubo TV have already dropped the Fox RSNs from their services.