The long, national nightmare is over for sports fans subscribing to YouTube TV.
After a dispute with Sinclair over carrying the Fox regional sports networks that lasted right up until a Feb. 29 deadline, followed by a temporary agreement that allowed negotiations to continue, the two sides have worked out a new deal in which YouTube TV will carry 19 of the 21 channels available. That group includes Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Southwest, and Fox Sports Florida.
However, that means two of the Fox Sports RSNs are not being carried by the streaming service under this new agreement. Curiously, those two channels are in the nation’s biggest markets. YES Network in New York along with Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West did not reach terms with YouTubeTV in this new deal and are currently unavailable on the platform. The new Marquee Sports Network is also not included in the agreement.
Prior to the new deal with the other 19 Fox Sports RSNs being reached, YES Network was dropped by YouTube TV while several other channels in smaller markets remained on the service.
Update: the service drops, as of now, appears to be affecting key US media markets such as NY/LA. But some other smaller markets still show their Fox regionals as available through YouTube TV
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) March 5, 2020
That prompted a surprisingly vitriolic response from YES Network late Wednesday night, calling YouTube TV “selfish” in looking for a “sweetheart” deal. In a statement, the network also bashed Sinclair for making a deal for the other Fox RSNs that excluded large markets like New York and Los Angeles:
YouTube TV has dropped the YES Network. pic.twitter.com/RxVgSIjQsR
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 5, 2020
Wow, tensions are high among New York sports teams right now. There’s almost as much anger and anxiety as what YouTube TV subscribers have been feeling while playing the hokey-pokey over whether or not to discontinue service and sign up with Hulu Live just as MLB season is about to begin while the NBA and NHL approach their respective playoffs. But now, most of them can relax and enjoy watching their local teams again.
YES Network’s statement comes days after the New York Knicks criticized Spike Lee for creating “a false controversy to perpetuate drama” over using a VIP entrance in a public release. Maybe a few deep breaths are necessary over there. Well, maybe after this dispute is resolved.
In the meantime, local fans probably won’t be placated by the 21 Yankees games being carried on Amazon Prime (albeit only in the YES Network viewing territory) during this upcoming season.
The Fox Sports RSNs also continue to be unavailable on Sling, Dish Network, and fuboTV, which limits options for sports fans looking to watch their games through streaming services rather than cable or satellite providers. Sinclair is currently touting Hulu Live TV and AT&T TV NOW as the other two streaming platforms where viewers can find the Fox RSNs.