QI CAN’T FIND MY FOX REGIONAL SPORTS NETWORK ON YOUTUBE TV OR HULU + LIVE TV, WHY?A
The contractual agreements with Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV to carry the Sinclair-owned FOX Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) expired September 30th and October 22nd, 2020, respectively. Despite working tirelessly to find a deal, Sinclair was not able to reach an agreement that allowed the FOX RSNs to stay on these streaming TV providers.
Hulu and YouTube claim to care about sports fans, and to be the “home” of live sports, but they refused to pay fair market prices to carry the FOX RSNs, leaving viewers and fans of 44+ MLB, NBA and NHL teams across the country, high and dry.
Sinclair regrets the inconvenience and frustration this is causing to Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV subscribers who want to continue to watch their hometown teams that air on the FOX RSNs; and wants to remind viewers that these channels are widely available on other services across the country.
QHULU + LIVE TV, YOUTUBE TV AND FUBO TV ALL TOUT PUTTING SPORTS FIRST, WHY CAN’T YOU COME TO TERMS WITH THEM?A
All three of these streaming providers tout that they have live sports and cater to the sports fan. The Sinclair-owned FOX RSNs offer over 4,500 live games and have the rights to 42 NBA, NHL and MLB teams. We have made fair offers to these streaming providers, as we have done with hundreds of others, but clearly they are not putting the sports fan first.
QI’m looking at AT&T’s website and trying to decide which package to get. Can you point me in the right direction?A
In order to start watching your teams today, make sure to select the AT&T TV CHOICE package to ensure your local RSN is included in your channel lineup.
QDON’T HULU + LIVE TV AND YOUTUBE TV CARE ABOUT SPORTS?A
Good point. Hulu has spent a lot of money the last 18 months on athlete endorsements, telling consumers they have live sports – and according to the trade publication Sports Business Journal, a YouTube TV executive recently said, “Live sports drives viewership. It’s an inalienable truth right now.” So, given how important live sports appear to be to the growth of these streaming providers, it is surprising and disappointing that they would both deny sports fans across the country access to the actual games they want to watch.
QWILL FOX SPORTS GO CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE FOR YOUTUBE TV AND HULU + LIVE TV CUSTOMERS?A
No, the FOX Sports GO streaming platform is an extension of your pay-tv subscription with your tv/streaming provider. When a TV / streaming provider stops carrying the FOX RSNs, you also lose access to your hometown teams and programming on FOX Sports GO.
QAM I ABLE TO WATCH MY TEAMS ON LEAGUE PACKAGES LIKE MLB EXTRA INNINGS, NBA LEAGUE PASS AND NHL CENTER ICE?A
No, not if you live within your team’s league-designated home television territory. The league packages are for out-of-market viewing. Services like MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice do not include local, in-market teams’ games.
QISN’T THIS JUST ABOUT GREED?A
The prices Sinclair is asking for these channels are more than fair and comparable to what many other providers have agreed to pay, which allows the FOX RSNs to be widely available to fans on TV providers across the country.
Given that the network spends millions of dollars each year to produce high-quality sports programming, it is only right and fair that Hulu, YouTube and others compensate us fairly for the content we produce, especially since they are re-selling our content to their subscribers.
QDON’T CHANNEL COSTS JUST GET PASSED ON TO THE CUSTOMER?A
That’s a question for Hulu and YouTube.
Since dropping our network and taking your favorite teams away, Hulu and YouTube have raised the cost of their service – even though our channels are no longer available on their service. This means that if you signed up for either of these Live TV streaming services, you’re no longer getting what you pay for – in fact, you’re now paying more for less!
The best way to tell Hulu and YouTube how you feel is to use the zip code search tool (above) to find a TV provider that actually gives you the channels and games you’re paying for.
QARE THE FOX SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS REALLY THAT VALUABLE TO PAY TV PROVIDERS?A
The FOX RSNs are the leading broadcaster of professional sports in the U.S. with 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams. Fans like you are passionate about your teams, making local sports among the most-watched, most-valued programming on all of TV. FOX Sports Regional Networks’ MLB telecasts are the No. 1 most-watched prime time programming in many markets, and NBA and NHL telecasts are often the No. 1-rated prime time programming on cable.
QWHAT’S THE BEST WAY FOR THE PUBLIC TO INFLUENCE THIS MATTER?A
The best way to influence Hulu and YouTube is with your wallet. Use the zip code search tool (above) to find a TV provider that has your local teams on the FOX RSNs.
QWHAT ARE MY CABLE OPTIONS?A
The FOX RSNs are widely available on nearly every local cable provider. Refer to the zip code finder above to view your options.
QI AM STUCK IN MY DISH CONTRACT AND CAN’T GET OUT. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IF I WANT TO SWITCH PROVIDERS?A
Dish customers across the country are frustrated. Currently DISH is without at least 236 channels due to 8 different carriage battles, which you can read about here. Sinclair has made every effort to bring the FOX RSNs back to DISH at very favorable rates – but unfortunately haven’t been able to come to a deal.
QWHAT HAPPENED TO FRONTIER?A
Sinclair tried to get a deal done consistent with other deals we have closed and unfortunately Frontier was unwilling to enter into such a deal.
QFIRST I HAD YOUTUBE TV, THEN HULU, AND THE LIST KEEPS GROWING. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END?A
These new streaming platforms have launched cheaper models – while attempting to offer similar channel lineups – in a desire to undercut traditional Pay TV (cable, satellite, telco) providers, but have quickly realized that this is not sustainable. As a result, they are dropping networks like your local RSNs and raising prices at the same time in an effort to increase their profits from you, the consumer. While their low-cost offering certainly is appealing it is an unreasonable business model and their customers are now paying the price.
With all of these factors in play, there is unfortunately, no definitive timeline for our return to these providers.
QHOW LONG ARE THESE DISPUTES LIKELY TO LAST – CAN I JUST WAIT THIS OUT?A
It is impossible to answer this question accurately. Sinclair is willing to work with any TV or Streaming provider that pays a fair price for our content. Unfortunately, it’s also possible that any one of these providers do not bring our channels back. The best way to make sure you get to watch the teams you love is to switch providers.