YouTube TV recently confirmed that it is removing Fox regional sports networks from its channel lineup. With that change taking effect soon, consumers are not left with much option.
In an unexpected announcement, YouTube TV confirmed that starting from February 29, Fox RSNs will no longer be available to subscribers. The Google-owned service explained this was due to YouTube TV unable to strike a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group – the owner of the Fox RSNs in question. Most of the channels affected by this change can be seen in the image above.
For those subscribers now in need of maintaining access to their local sports channels, the obvious answer would be to simply switch services. After all, that’s one of the main benefits of cutting the cord as with no contract or major obligations in place, consumers can drop a subscription service as quickly as those services drop local sports.
That said, in this particular instance, switching providers might not prove to be a worthwhile option.
AT&T and Hulu now the only real options left for Fox RSNs
At the start of last year, there was a variety of live TV streaming services to choose from, including AT&T TV NOW (although it was DIRECTV NOW at the time), fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Most of which provided access to the channels owned by Sinclair.
However, a lot has changed between the start of last year and now. For example, mid-way through 2019, Sling TV (and Dish) fell into a dispute over Fox RSNs and this eventually led to the channels completely being dropped for Slingers in September. Fast-forward to January of this year and fuboTV confirmed it too had dropped Fox RSNs, along with other channels, including FX and National Geographic.
Now, with YouTube TV having joined the non-Fox RSN party, and PlayStation Vue closed for business, that only leaves AT&T TV NOW and Hulu Live TV as the two main live TV services with access to the dropped sports channels.
Price increase unless you already subscribe to Hulu or HBO
While there are still two live TV streaming packages for subscribers to switch to, doing so will result in a monthly increase. For example, YouTube TV remains priced at $49.99 following its last price increase, while Hulu Live TV’s most recent price hike saw the cost rise to $54.99 (visit Hulu) per month. Those opting to go the AT&T TV NOW route will see the price rise even further with AT&T’s cheapest package coming in at $65 (visit AT&T) per month.
Of course, if a subscriber already subscribes to either the basic Hulu subscription or HBO, then switching might make more sense. With the standard Hulu subscription typically costing $5.99 per month, and HBO costing $15 per month, and both of these services bundled in with their parent’s live TV package, the cost of either live TV streaming service comes down to around the same as what existing YouTube TV subscribers are paying.
Although subscribers are still likely to lose out on some channels by switching to either AT&T or Hulu, as well as access to the unlimited cloud DVR.