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YouTube TV’s Fox RSNs Have Returned, but Not for Everyone

Deal not quite as first thought. Some YouTube TV subscribers have lost access to their Fox RSNs.

YouTube TV struck a deal to keep Fox RSNs, but there’s a caveat. While the Fox RSNs have returned, they haven’t for everyone, and for those still affected, it is increasingly unlikely that they will get their regional sports networks back – regardless of the deal struck with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

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At the end of February, YouTube TV announced it had failed to reach a deal with Sinclair for access to 21 Fox RSNs and YES Network. Since then, the two have continued to negotiate and finally a deal was done to keep 19 of the 21 Fox RSNs on YouTube TV’s books.

However, as the dust settled on the news, many subscribers have taken to forums and social media to confirm they no longer have access to Fox RSNs included in the deal. The user reports were numerous enough to suggest this issue is affecting a lot of subscribers, and varied enough in location to indicate this is unlikely to be an accident or error.

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Not all subscribers are getting Fox RSNs

What has become increasingly clear is that the terms of the deal were not adequately defined by either YouTube TV or Sinclair. Some subscribers have lost access to Fox RSNs that were part of the deal, and that’s unlikely to change. What is likely to be playing a factor is the size of the market, with YouTube TV having opted to secure rights for the markets where it serves the most subscribers, at a cost of subscribers located within smaller markets.

Revisiting a Tweet sent out previously by YouTube TV and the indications were there. The Tweet explained “we reached a deal that will keep RSNs for many of our members.” At the time, this seemed to be referencing the majority of the Fox RSNs that have been retained, in contrast to the couple that were lost. However, in light of the more recent user reports, the wording seems to indicate size and definition of market is what YouTube TV was actually referring to.

What’s more, it might not just be the size of the market, but the parameters might have also been redefined as part of the deal. The TeamYouTube Twitter account recently made it abundantly clear that in spite of the Fox RSNs having returned, “users in certain zip codes will lose access.”

As a result, the only surefire way for an individual subscriber to know whether a Fox RSN is still available is to either verify the zip code through the YouTube TV website channel checker, or by checking to see if the channel is still live on the interface.

If a Fox RSN was operational before, is included in the new deal, but has disappeared, then it is unlikely to be an accident or an error.

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By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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