• YouTube TV fails to reach deal with Sinclair to air Fox Regional Sports Networks
  • Sinclair acquired the regional sports networks from Disney in August
  • Meanwhile, YouTube Kids adds 11 countries in Latin America

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YouTube TV: To drop the Fox Regional Sports Networks

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YouTube TV is to drop the Fox Regional Sports Networks from tomorrow having failed to reach a carriage agreement with the Sinclair Broadcasting-owned channels. 

It means that YouTube TV subscribers will no longer be able to watch the Yes Network, which provides coverage of the New York Yankees baseball team, and will lose access to Fox Regional Sports Networks which have local rights to 42 professional sports teams, including Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises.

In a series of Tweets, YouTube explained that its negotiations with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which completed its acquisition of 21 regional sports networks from the Walt Disney Company in August last year, had faltered.

YouTube said: “We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you. Despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair. As a result, we will no longer offer Fox Regional Sports Networks, including Yes Network, beginning February 29th.

“We do not take this decision lightly. This is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content. You may have noticed several other TV services have also decided to remove Fox Regional Sports Networks from their lineups.”

The “other TV services” referred to by YouTube are Sling TV and FuboTV, which stopped showing the channels in January.

In response, Sinclair said it had offered “YouTube TV the best terms under which their competitors carry our Regional Sports Networks”.

Sinclair said: “Unfortunately, they alone decided to drop these channels citing ‘rising costs’ despite our offer to actually lower the fees they pay us…we also offered to continue negotiating under a short-term extension so that their subscribers could continue to watch their favourite hometown teams. They’ve not yet responded to this offer.”

Meanwhile, YouTube has also announced that it has rolled out YouTube Kids to eleven countries in Latin America.

YouTube Kids, a family-friendly version of the streaming site with parental controls and content specifically for children, is now available in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

YouTube said it plans to continue expanding to more countries in hopes of reaching parity this year with the distribution of YouTube.com.