YouTube TV’s Fox RSNs Have Returned, but Not for Everyone

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YouTube TV struck a deal to keep Fox RSNs, but there’s a caveat. While the Fox RSNs have returned, they haven’t for everyone, and for those still affected, it is increasingly unlikely that they will get their regional sports networks back – regardless of the deal struck with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

At the end of February, YouTube TV announced it had failed to reach a deal with Sinclair for access to 21 Fox RSNs and YES Network. Since then, the two have continued to negotiate and finally a deal was done to keep 19 of the 21 Fox RSNs on YouTube TV’s books.

However, as the dust settled on the news, many subscribers have taken to forums and social media to confirm they no longer have access to Fox RSNs included in the deal. The user reports were numerous enough to suggest this issue is affecting a lot of subscribers, and varied enough in location to indicate this is unlikely to be an accident or error.

Not all subscribers are getting Fox RSNs

What has become increasingly clear is that the terms of the deal were not adequately defined by either YouTube TV or Sinclair. Some subscribers have lost access to Fox RSNs that were part of the deal, and that’s unlikely to change. What is likely to be playing a factor is the size of the market, with YouTube TV having opted to secure rights for the markets where it serves the most subscribers, at a cost of subscribers located within smaller markets.

Revisiting a Tweet sent out previously by YouTube TV and the indications were there. The Tweet explained “we reached a deal that will keep RSNs for many of our members.” At the time, this seemed to be referencing the majority of the Fox RSNs that have been retained, in contrast to the couple that were lost. However, in light of the more recent user reports, the wording seems to indicate size and definition of market is what YouTube TV was actually referring to.

What’s more, it might not just be the size of the market, but the parameters might have also been redefined as part of the deal. The TeamYouTube Twitter account recently made it abundantly clear that in spite of the Fox RSNs having returned, “users in certain zip codes will lose access.”

As a result, the only surefire way for an individual subscriber to know whether a Fox RSN is still available is to either verify the zip code through the YouTube TV website channel checker, or by checking to see if the channel is still live on the interface.

If a Fox RSN was operational before, is included in the new deal, but has disappeared, then it is unlikely to be an accident or an error.

John Finn
John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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