Starting Oct. 1, 2020, the Fox-branded RSNs will no longer be available on YouTube TV, according to Google. In February, Google had negotiated an extension with Sinclair to continue providing the RSNs through the end of MLB, NHL and NBA 2020 seasons. Now that those leagues’ regular seasons are over, “that extension is expiring,” YouTube TV said Tuesday.
“To bring you 85+ channels, we periodically renegotiate contracts with content owners,” YouTube TV said in a Twitter thread announcing the drop of Fox RSNs. “This was a difficult decision made after months of negotiations. We hope we can bring Fox RSNs back in the future.”
Sinclair Broadcast Group on Wednesday confirmed the RSNs will be dropped from YouTube TV but the company said it’s hoping to eventually strike a pact to bring them back to the OTT service. “While we are disappointed that YouTube will discontinue carriage of the RSNs, we remain in discussions in an effort to find a mutually acceptable path to returning the RSNs to YouTube TV,” Barry Faber, Sinclair’s president of distribution and network relations.
With YouTube TV losing the Fox RSNs, the streaming service’s customers will no longer have access to DVR recordings they made from networks.
Under the prior deal extension with Sinclair, YouTube TV restricted the areas where some or all of the 19 Fox RSNs had been available (while it dropped YES Network in the greater New York area and Fox Sports Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West in the Los Angeles metro area).
Sinclair acquired the 21 Fox regional sports networks from Disney, which was required to divest the RSNs as part of securing Justice Department approval of its deal for 21st Century Fox’s film and TV businesses. Under a separate pact with Disney, Sinclair acquired an interest in YES, which carries New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games.
Last year, Dish Network dropped the Fox RSNs from satellite and Sling TV lineups, while over-the-top TV provider Fubo TV cut them in January.
The Sinclair-owned RSNs that will be rolling off YouTube TV are: Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sportstime Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, and Fox Sports Wisconsin.