A number of Fox regional sports networks (RSNs) will no longer be available for YouTube TV subscribers beginning October 1st, the company announced.
The move comes after YouTube and Fox first spoke publicly about Fox channels leaving YouTube TV in February, but the two companies came to an agreement to carry the rest of the MLB, NBA, and NHL seasons through 2020. As the NBA and NHL’s seasons come to an end, and with the MLB set to end around the end of October, Fox and YouTube’s agreement is also being severed.
“To bring you 85+ channels, we periodically renegotiate contracts with content owners,” the official YouTube TV Twitter account tweeted. “Starting October 1, 2020, FOX RSNs will no longer be available on YouTube TV. Members that are impacted will no longer have access to Library recordings from the FOX RSNs.”
Approximately 19 channels will be impacted. According to Variety, they include 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 Prime Ticket (L.A.), Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, and Fox Sports Wisconsin.
The goal is to get them back on YouTube TV, though. Barry Faber, Sinclair’s president of distribution and network relations, told Variety that Sinclair (which owns the RSNs) continue to have discussions with YouTube “in an effort to find a mutually acceptable path to returning the RSNs to YouTube TV.”
This form of public back-and-forth bickering is referred to as a carriage dispute. Most recently, NBCUniversal and Roku underwent their own version of this. NBCUniversal and parent company Comcast threatened to pull a number of NBC apps from Roku as the companies negotiated terms to get NBCUniversal’s streaming app, Peacock, on Roku. It took less than 24 hours after NBCUniversal’s move to reach a deal — and that’s the end goal.
“This was a difficult decision made after months of negotiations,” YouTube TV’s Twitter account added. “We hope we can bring FOX RSNs back in the future.”
Both Sinclair and YouTube likely want Fox’s regional sports networks on YouTube TV — it helps justify the $65 monthly fee for YouTube TV subscribers. It’s just a matter of trying to force the other’s hand.
So, carriage disputes. Cable subscribers may have experienced this, cable providers and networks enter blackout periods to try and speed along negotiations. But for cord cutters who may never had purchased cable: welcome!