Map of all of the Fox Sports regional sports networks (RSNs) owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
SAN BRUNO, Calif./COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (Ambush Sports) — After an announcement earlier in the week was going to result in Fox regional sports networks (RSNs) to be pulled off the air Saturday, it appeared a last-minute temporary short-term extensionhas been approved between Alphabet’s YouTube TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of the RSNs.
The previous carriage deal, which had been set to end at midnight Eastern, had resulted in the company stating that they would drop the sports channels Saturday after both parties failed to properly negotiate a new deal
TeamYouTube issued several updates Friday night and early Saturday morning about the temporary extension with Sinclair to keep the RSNs and YES Network available while negotiations resume.
“We’re waiting for an update on the agreement we’re working on with them,” they stated in onetweet.
YouTube had confirmed that they would not lower their price of $49.99/month if the RSNs did go dark and had stated in a tweet, “We don’t have plans to lower the cost at this time – this change is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content,” the Google-owned video service said.
A representative from Sinclair stated Thursday that they offered YouTube TV “the best terms under which their competitors carry our regional sports networks.”
Carriage fights are not new to broadcasting and have been in the pay-TV landscape for years, with sports being the most expensive properties. The ongoing spat between YouTube TV and Sinclair stems from Dish Network and Sling TV cutting the Fox RSNs from their lineup last summer, with FuboTV joining them in January.
The temporary deal was stemmed from a manipulative, deceptive website hosted by Sinclair, trying to force sports fans to go elsewhere if their providers ditched the Fox RSNs, with YES Network (co-owned by Sinclair, the New York Yankees, and Amazon) put outa website of their own.
In addition to the ongoing negotiations with YouTube TV, Sinclair is currently undergoing negotiations with Comcast. They are slated to enter renewal negotiations with Hulu and Charter Spectrum in March.
Sinclair launched the Marquee Sports Network — separate from the Fox RSNs — earlier this month, which has carriage deals with 40 providers, including DirecTV, Charter Spectrum, Hulu and AT&T TV Now.