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YouTube TV losing Fox RSNs following carriage dispute with Sinclair

YouTube TV has announced it will no longer carry the Fox regional sports networks following a carriage dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The Fox RSNs were acquired by Sinclair from media giant Disney last year in a deal worth $10.6bn (€9.5bn).

YouTube TV, the cable-free live television service of video-sharing company YouTube, cited rising costs for the decision, which takes effect on February 29.

We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you. Despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair. As a result, we will no longer offer Fox regional sports networks, including Yes Network, beginning February 29,” YouTube TV said in a statement to its customers on Twitter. 

“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 line-ups.”

Sling TV and fuboTV also recently dropped the Fox RSNs from their services, with both companies also citing increased costs. Hulu and AT&T TV Now are currently the only live TV streaming services that offer the RSNs.

Live sports has been key differentiator for many of these OTT services in an increasingly crowded streaming market, and an important source of fan development for US sports properties. So the removal the Fox RSNS and the large amount of sports programming they carry from those services represents a major impact to the entire sports industry.

YouTube TV has more than 2m US subscribers.

Read this: Sinclair president Ripley: “There’s a real commercial logic” behind buying more RSNs