Sports fans don’t have to worry about their local teams disappearing from YouTube TV after all. Not yet, anyway. Last night, YouTube tweeted that it has agreed to a temporary extension with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which now owns many Fox-branded regional sports networks (RSNs) and the YES Network, to keep those channels in its lineup as the two sides hammer out a longer-term carriage agreement.
Earlier in the week, YouTube TV emailed customers to notify them that the sports networks would likely be leaving the service on February 29th due to stalled talks on a renewal. “This is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content,” the company said in a follow-up tweet. “You may have noticed several other TV services have also decided to remove FOX Regional Sports Networks from their lineups.” (Dish’s Sling TV and FuboTV are the services referenced there; Sinclair’s networks remain available on Hulu with Live TV and AT&T TV Now.)
Sinclair fired back and claimed it was offering YouTube “the best terms under which their competitors carry our regional sports networks. Unfortunately, they alone decided to drop these channels citing ‘rising costs’ despite our offer to actually lower the fees they pay us.” Sinclair also mentioned that it offered YouTube an extension but hadn’t heard back from the company about it. Now that extension is in place. “We’ll be sure to share an update as soon we we have more info on a potential timeline,” YouTube said last night.
Of course, keeping all of that programming available for sports fans might mean a higher monthly subscription for everyone in the near future. YouTube TV currently costs $49.99 per month.