YouTube TV Will No Longer Stream Orlando City SC Games, Leaving Local Fans Without a Way to Stream
Streaming Orlando City SC games for local MLS fans has become a lot harder. After streaming on YouTube TV last season, the team has confirmed to The Streamable that local telecasts will no longer be available on the Live TV Streaming Service. Last season, the service aired local Orlando City games on a “synthetic” RSN available just to subscribers. This is despite the fact that YouTube TV is still promoting the channel as being available to streamers in the Orlando metro area.
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.”
While Orlando City games are available locally on MyNetworkTV affiliate Fox 35+ (WBRW), which is available on YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV and AT&T TV NOW, they won’t be available to stream. The team has told us that while all games are free via antenna on Fox 35+, the local affiliate has not acquired the streaming rights from the league (which charges a fee for those rights).
Orlando isn’t the only team looking for a new streaming partner for this season, YouTube TV ended a similar partnership with the Seattle Sounders earlier this year. Late last season, D.C. United pulled the plug on their streaming deal with FloSports, who was plagued with streaming issues during their partnership. Some teams like the Philadelphia Union will be streaming games for free on their website, while Real Salt Lake will stream them on KSLSports.com.