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Sinclair CEO Says YouTube RSN Deal Doesn’t Have ‘Broader Implications’ on Future Deals

Stephanie Sengwe

Earlier this year, Sinclair and YouTube TV reached an agreement after sparring over Fox RSNs. On Feb. 27, YouTube TV shocked subscribers with the news that they would drop 21 Fox Regional Sports Networks and YES Network beginning Feb. 29. However, the companies managed to reach a temporary extension that saw the channels remain on YouTube TV past the deadline.

On March 5, it was announced that Sinclair and YouTube TV reached an official agreement that would keep only some of Fox Sports Regional Sports Networks on the service, while the YES Network and other “large-market RSNs” were to be dropped.

The Streamable was the first to learn that YES Network, Fox Sports Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West would no longer be available on the service, while the newly launched Marquee Sports Network wasn’t included in the deal.

Now, months after the unique agreement was established, Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley is addressing the matter. During their Q1 2020 earnings call today, Ripley told listeners 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.”

YouTube TV wasn’t the only Live TV Streaming Service in a dispute with Sinclair over Fox Regional Sports Networks. In late 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.

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