The on-again, off-again saga regarding the fates of 21 regional sports networks on YouTube TV has ended — at least for now — in the favor of local subscribers.
Fox Sports North is among the 19 Sinclair-owned RSNs that will remain on YouTube TV through at least the 2020 MLB season as part of an agreement reached Thursday, Variety reports.
A week ago, YouTube TV announced it was dropping the RSNs — including FSN — as of this past Saturday, but the sides patched together a temporary extension to keep the channels on while negotiating this solution. But they dropped Fox Sports Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West — channels in the Los Angeles area — as well as the Yankees’ YES Network.
“We are pleased that YouTube TV was able to agree to terms on 19 of our RSNs and that they will continue to provide subscribers with access to some of the most in-demand sports networks in the nation,” David Gibber, senior VP and general counsel of Sinclair, said in a statement, per Variety.
YouTube TV, with roughly 2 million subscribers and a monthly fee of $49.99 with no long-term commitment or activation fees, is one of the three largest streaming services along with Hulu + Live TV and Sling. Hulu was poised the be the only one carrying regional sports networks if YouTube TV dropped them after Sling did the same in 2019.
Local subscribers were bracing for the loss of FSN at one of the worst possible times — with the stretch run of the Wild and Wolves seasons colliding with the start of Minnesota United’s season and the upcoming Twins season (as well as the Lynx, though the WNBA team wasn’t mentioned in a Fox Sports North tweet).
FSN tweeted Thursday afternoon: “YouTube TV subscribers: We’re pleased to reach a new agreement with YouTube TV. Most YouTube TV subscribers will continue to see Wild, Wolves, Twins & United games and all the comprehensive coverage on FOX Sports North.”
I’m not entirely sure what “most” means, and I’ve reached out to FSN to see if we can clear that up.
But the streaming service will have FSN for at least the next several months.
Or, you know, go outside and get some fresh air this weekend when it’s in the 60s. Your choice.