YouTube TV Will No Longer Stream Local Seattle Sounders Matches After Two-Year Partnership
It is uncertain whether YouTube TV, which is also the jersey sponsor for LAFC (another MLS team), decided not to renew, or its part of the league’s initiative to not sign long-term local TV deals past 2022.
In March, Sports Business Journal reported that the “MLS has instructed all 24 of its current clubs as well as its future expansion teams in Miami, Nashville and Austin to not have any local broadcast agreements that go beyond 2022. That is the year that the league’s national and international broadcast deals will expire, thus allowing MLS to potentially package any combination of those rights to future broadcast partners.”
In a message to users sent yesterday, YouTube TV said:
“We’re writing to let you know that, starting December 12, 2019, the Seattle Sounders TV channel will no longer be available on YouTube TV. You will also lose access to any previous recording from the Seattle Sounders channel. Your YouTube TV membership and bill will stay the same.”
Regardless, this has left fans of the Seattle Sounders in a lurch. Since they were given no notice, fans who had games recorded to their Unlimited DVR saw them disappear.
Unfortunately, our 2-year partnership w/ Sounders FC expired. We have no knowledge of how they will distribute local matches in 2020. You may still see the Sounders on YouTube TV if their games air on a network available on YouTube TV. We sincerely apologize for the disruption.— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) December 12, 2019
YouTube TV also has deals with LAFC and Orlando City SC, but it is uncertain if they will also be affected. For next season, Seattle Sounders could look for a deal with ESPN+, who streams in-markets games for Chicago Fire, other streaming services like DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, or a traditional RSN like Root Sports Northwest.
Seattle isn’t the only team looking for a new streaming partner for next season. Late last season, D.C. United pulled the plug on their streaming deal with FloSports, who was plagued with streaming issues during their partnership.