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Sling TV has confirmed subscribers will be losing access to NBC regional sports networks starting next month. This is only the latest example of a live TV streaming service losing access to local channels and RSNs. With Sling TV one of the more popular live TV services operating in the U.S., the change will impact a significant number of subscribers in affected areas.
Sling TV was one of the original live TV streaming services to launch. Since then, it has actively attempted to keep the overall cost of its plans as low as possible. This has so far proven to be a good way to compete with the higher costs associated with AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. However, the downside is that it has less financial room to negotiate deals.
Sling is currently in the process of emailing subscribers advising them that NBC RSNs will be removed from the service. The channels are due to be dropped beginning April 1, 2021. That’s the same day legacy AT&T TV Now and DirecTV Now are due to encounter a $10 per month price increase.
The email goes on to explain that Sling was unable to agree terms to carry the channels, adding that it is “committed to providing the best value” to subscribers. The change appears to affect all subscribers where NBC RSNs are served.
Another Locals Blow To Sling TV
While Sling TV could have opted to increase the price of its subscriptions, the company only recently announced a price increase of $5. Furthermore, it had previously promised not to increase the cost of existing subscriber plans before August of this year. As a result, the company appears to have decided that the best option is to simply drop the channels altogether.
However, this is a blow to Sling TV users and especially considering local channels and RSNs were not exactly widely available on the service before. With Sling TV only offering access to NBC and Fox local channels, the removal of NBC RSNs is going to greatly impact on local cotent.
Of course, this is not only a problem for Sling TV customers, as most of the live TV streaming services have dropped some local channels in recent times. Most notably, towards the end of 2020 both Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV dropped multiple Fox RSNs owned By Sinclair Broadcast Group. Those same Fox RSNs were dropped by Sling TV back in 2019.
Source: Sling Answers (Twitter)