After what seemed like a reprieve in the increasingly tense carriage negotiations between YouTube TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group regional sports networks, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES), which includes Sinclair as a minority partner, said it has been dropped by the streaming video service.
“YouTube TV, for its own selfish reasons and with total disregard for its YES customers, has refused to pay the market rate and accept market terms and conditions that other YES distributors have agreed to,” YES said in a statement. “In fact, YouTube TV sought a rate that was well below what other YES distributors are paying, and because YES keeps its word to all of its distributors, it could not make the deal. When YouTube TV realized it could not get a sweetheart, below-market deal, it dropped the YES Network.”
YouTube TV appeared to avoid a blackout of several Sinclair-owned RSNs earlier this week, when after threats to drop the networks, YouTube TV agreed to an extension that would keep the channels on the service while talks continued. But even that seems to be subject to interpretation, according to a statement from YES.
YES was purchased by a group including the New York Yankees, Amazon and Sinclair in August for an estimated $3.47 billion from The Walt Disney Co., which was forced to divest its RSNs as part of federal approval of its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox assets.
“Sinclair, for its own reasons, elected to make a deal for some but not all of its programming services which excluded large-market RSNs featuring iconic franchises and star players,” YES continued in its statement. “The New York Yankees have made it clear to Major League Baseball and YouTube TV that the Yankees will not appear on any national games televised by YouTube TV through its national telecast agreement with Major League Baseball. We urge all of our fans to go to YESNetwork.com to see the list of other streaming services and other distributors that carry the YES Network. With YouTube TV no longer carrying YES, it appears as though YouTube TV customers will pay the same while getting less.”