Hulu Live TV Subscribers Lose Sinclair’s CBS Affiliates

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Hulu Live TV no longer provides access to a number of CBS affiliates, affecting local streams, including the option to watch NFL games. This is the result of another dispute between Hulu and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Whether an individual subscriber and household is affected by the dropped channels, depends on where they live and if their local CBS affiliate is operated by Sinclair.


Disputes are nothing new in the live TV streaming world with many services often getting caught up in disagreements with content providers and channel owners over carriage rights and pricing. When it comes to Sinclair specifically, many of the major streaming services have dropped channels over the last year, due to being unable to agree new terms.

For example, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and fuboTV have all also dropped channels after a carriage dispute with Sinclair. This has most commonly involved access to Fox regional sports networks (RSNs), resulting in a major reduction in the number of options for watching local live sports through a live TV streaming service.


Hulu has updated its help pages to explain that, as of December 16, 2020, subscribers no longer have access to a number of local CBS affiliates, due to the service losing the rights to carry these stations. The FAQ also confirms that the loss of local live affiliates also means subscribers will be unable to stream local news and NFL games through any of these channels.

Affected Hulu subscribers

Sinclair owns and operates a number of local affiliates, including Fox and CBS. The company says its reach includes 23 RSN brands, covering as many as 190 television stations in 88 markets in the United States. Therefore, whether an individual subscriber is affected or not will come down to whether their local CBS affiliate is operated by Sinclair.

CBS affiliates no longer available on Hulu Live TV:

  • KUTV (Salt Lake City)
  • WKRC (Cincinnati)
  • WPEC (West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce)
  • KEYE (Austin)
  • WWMT (Grand Rapids-Kalmzoo-B.Crk)
  • WHP (Harrisburg-Lncstr-Leb-York)
  • WRGB (Albany-Schenectady-Troy)
  • WGME (Portland-Auburn)
  • KGAN (Cedar Rapids-Wtrlo-IWC&Dub)
  • KDBC (El Paso-Las Cruces)
  • WSBT (South Bend-Elkhart)
  • KBOI (Boise)
  • KIMA (Yakima-Pasco-Rchlnd-Knnwck)
  • KVAL (Eugene)
  • KBAK (Bakersfield)
  • KRCG (Columbia-Jefferson City)
  • KTVL (Medford-Klamath Falls)
  • KFDM (Beaumont-Port Arthur)
  • KMEG (Sioux City)
  • WGFL(Gainesville)
  • KHQA (Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk)
  • KTVO (Ottumwa-Kirksville)

Although not great news for Hulu Live TV subscribers, this is not the first time in 2020 that Hulu and Sinclair have failed to reach a deal, resulting in the loss of channels. In October, Hulu Live TV subscribers lost access to a number of Fox RSNs, as well as YES Network and Marquee Sports Network.


The updated FAQ page does explain that subscribers will still be able to access many of the popular shows broadcast on these channels by tuning into the national CBS channel.

For subscribers who do want to continue accessing these same locals, they will need to consider an alternate route, such as setting up an over-the-air antenna or subscribing to the standalone CBS streaming service, CBS All Access.

Source: Hulu

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

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34 replies on “Hulu Live TV Subscribers Lose Sinclair’s CBS Affiliates”

As usual it’s all about greed. Sinclair sucks. They’ve lost a number of good reporters who retired or quit to escape them in our Cincinnati market. Just remember, the PAYING VIEWER has the final say.

Well now they finally did it in Springfield Ohio close to you in Cincinnati! Needless to say I am very ticked off and I hope everyone complains to Hulu. To negotiate something

All of you get your act together and Update your channel list so us that expect what is advertised to not mislead. I signed up for hulu today so can get my TV shows and sport games on cbs. Something wrong with scamming subscribers with incomplete offeringsl

So prices are raised and we lose a local station. Which we can get for free but now we have to spend money to buy an antenna. Also now we can’t record that station if we wanted to record a football game. Great! Maybe looking for other options.

We lost our local cbs WHIO-tv fir Dayton Ohio. Hulu claims we should have it, will have to drop Hulu and go back to UTube tv, no problem with them.

Up our price and still don’t get half of my channels I had before. Like cbs.. soon going to cancel my subscription and go back to directtv or something else so tired of this. Not getting what I am paying for

At the very least, hulu should discount their rate for those viewers affected by the loss of channel/channels. Was on the fence about staying with Hulu after yet another price increase. I guess this makes the decision easier. So long Hulu.

The same time I get an email about a 20% rate increase, i lose my local CBS channel. Not a smart move HULU!! Get your act together.

I agree with discounting my increase of $10 to $4.01.
This is the difference between the increase and the cost of cbs all access. Otherwise it is a $15.99 diff to have what I had prior to the increase and losing cbs. Very disappointed.l. This situation is why I left Dish to go to Direct then to local cable and finally to Hulu+ Live. Tired of being jacked around as a consumer.

This is complete crap. If Hulu can’t reach a deal with Sinclair then they need to provide another alternative method for streaming CBS or FOX in the impacted areas. This is 95% of the reason I even have Hulu and now I can’t watch the games I want. Yet you just raised my monthly rate. Unacceptable!

I finally got the channels and a good picture on Hulu that I could not get on cable. Now I loose CBS and lots of football games, even super bowl. Please fix this.

Raised the rate 20 days after I signed up and now you took CBS. I left Dish due to the same BS.
Pure greed, how much is enough greedy $!&@;(,

Great…just in time for the price increase. Hulu misrepresented it’s offerings knowing prior to the price increase that they were losing CBS.
I want a discount.

So I got Hulu a few months ago and almost right after that, we lost ABC 27 (due to Nexstar pulling it). Now, CBS 21 is gone due to Sinclair. And then, Hulu has the GALL to RAISE prices again.

So how does this end? It ends up that we’re all going to be paying MORE for sat and streaming services. Did Sinclair or Nexstar suddenly reduce the number of commercials on these stations? Of course not! They hold a knife to the throats of Hulu, YouTubeTV, Dish, etc. And what do they do? Pass the cost onto the sucker… Consumer. You.

WORSE YET, every time someone comes onto a public forum like this and blames Hulu, Dish, or whoever, Sinclair, Nexstar, and the others laugh. They think you are hilarious – as if what you think matters. If anything, you’ve proven that you CARE about their product. At some point, these stations will offer their own streaming services based on your lovely opinions.

I only fault Hulu for one thing: Not enlisting the help of their customers. Our representatives should be alerted to what’s going on. I love a free market, but that’s not what’s happening here.

There’s NO WAY these price increases for local carry should keep going through the roof. They still advertise. They still broadcast FOR FREE. But I’ve also noticed something else. In many cases, these stations serve rural areas that, due to topography, may not be able to receive with an antenna. That’s my situation.

Theoretically, a provider should be able to stick an antenna up and rebroadcast it. I mean, it’s ‘free’, right? They are supposed to charge a ‘reasonable’ fee for the rebroadcast rights, but again, that’s not happening. Unfortunately, the FCC and/or Congress will need to get involved.

The station holders are public companies – which means they will need to show a significant profit increase each quarter. Here’s a theoretical: What if these stations decided to reduce transmission power so fewer and fewer people could get them over the air? In effect, that’s already happened. Where you were able to watch even weak signals before with a little bit of ghosting or static, the modern digital standard, ATSC made this an all or nothing proposition. Now, weak signals, previously watchable, are not.

So the station’s corporations know they’ve got many of us by the short hairs. Keep that in mind the next time you want to chew out a provider. They are caught in the middle of an increasingly intractable problem.

We signed up with hulu 11/14, before DirecTv was disconnected we got the $10 rate increase notice…….then the no CBS notice. Figured ok, they’ll work on further negotiations and CBS will be back very soon. Not a word in 3 weeks. Are you working to get CBS back?. At least keep us informed so we can either wait, buy an antennea, or get another service……but tell something

We changed from cable to Hulu live to save money but still have access to the channels we watch most. If Hulu can’t make a settlement with Sinclair we will be dropping them and look for another alternative.

As of 3 days ago, Hulu is constantly getting stuck- going into a play then buffering then going back to the same spot, repeating and repeating. It is only happening on CBS live ( Lincoln/ Omaha Nebraska)

Can’t watch CBS Local and HULU Live! No Super Bowl Game?! So long Hulu! I like your service but raising prices and losing primary a primary channel is too much for me. Going to cancel now.

Please bring back cbs and please keep us informed. I am paying a 10.00 increase and I have no cbs now.

Hulu should at least communicate with us. Just to turn the TV and the channel is gone is CRAZY. Plus increase the price

I want my local CBS back!! And my fox sports Detroit! Isn’t CBS broadcast on a free airwave? Why do I pay for live tv when Hulu keeps taking away the channels I specifically signed up for? Guess, I have to subscribe with Sling TV

90% of my TV viewing was CBS in local area which is why I went with HULU. Guess I’ll be reviewing my options and going with a different service..

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