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Sinclair and Comcast Reach Deal to Keep Fox Sports RSNs & YES Network, Add Marquee Sports Network

Jason Gurwin

While Live TV Streaming Services are moving away from carrying Sinclair-owned Fox Regional Sports Networks, they company just made their biggest deal since acquiring the channels. Comcast and Sinclair announced a multi-year deal that will keep 18 Fox Sports RSNs, YES Network, and Sinclair local affiliates available to Xfinity subscribers. The deal will also bring Marquee Sports Network, the Cubs new RSN, to Comcast for the first time.

“With this agreement, Xfinity TV customers can continue to enjoy access to local news and sports content on Sinclair’s owned stations and networks across platforms, including on X1 – which delivers Xfinity customers an unmatched sports experience alongside on demand and streaming entertainment,” said Rebecca Heap, Senior Vice President, Video and Entertainment, Comcast Cable.

Sinclair has struggled though to maintain carriage in streaming. Fox Sports RSNs are now only available on Hulu Live TV ($55) and AT&T TV NOW ($80), after being available on all major services.

Last July, Sling TV and Dish Network dropped the channels after being unable to reach an extension. In January, fuboTV dropped the RSNs from their service.

Then in March, Sinclair and YouTube TV reached an unusual agreement that would keep only some of Fox Sports Regional Sports Networks.

YES Network, Fox Sports West, and Fox Sports Prime Ticket were dropped, while Marquee Sport Network was not included in the deal. YouTube TV also narrowed the footprint, so only customers in an RSN primary market would receive the channel, meaning those just a few hundred miles away wouldn’t.

At the time, Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley told investors that the deal with YouTube TV was specific to them and wasn’t an indicator of how they would be doing deals in the future.

He said YouTube was “under a lot of pressure to make that offering break even, so it’s really a cost exercise for them. Some of the RSNs they ultimately didn’t take were the more expensive ones in a larger market. So that’s what really drove the outcome there. I think it’s a unique situation in terms of what they decided they wanted to do. And I don’t think it really has any broader implications.”

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