Local Yankees fans who relied on YouTube TV for their games will officially have to find a new streaming service as the Google-operated virtual TV provider parts ways with the Yankees’ YES Network.
The decision comes after a lengthy dispute over carrying agreements. YouTube TV first emailed customers to let them know that Fox’s regional sports networks (RSNs) and YES Network wouldn’t be available beginning February 29th. YouTube and Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns a number of Fox’s RSNs and has a stake in YES Network, extended the contract for five days while negotiations continued.
Now, it seems like some of the RSNs will continue to be available to YouTube TV subscribers, but YES won’t be one of them. A tweet from YouTube’s support Twitter account noted the company has “reached an agreement with Sinclair and we’ll no longer be able to offer FOX Regional Sports Networks in select areas as of March 5th.” YouTube will send out emails to customers who are in affected regions.
“YouTube TV, for its own selfish reasons and with total disregard for its YES customers, has refused to pay the market rate and accept market terms and conditions that other YES distributors have agreed to,” a statement tweeted by YES reads. “In fact, YouTube TV sought a rate that was well below what other YES distributors are paying, and because YES keeps its word to all of its distributors, it could not make the deal.”
The news comes on the heels of YES Network announcing that 21 games will be available to stream for Amazon Prime members in four states. Amazon, which owns a small stake in YES Network, is using the games to make an even broader push into sports broadcasting — an area the company has been trying to compete in for years.
Non-Prime members who want to catch local Yankees games will have to use other virtual TV providers, including Hulu with Live TV.