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Google again at odds with Sinclair over regional sports on YouTube TV

The streaming pay TV service is expected to lose two dozen Fox Sports-branded regional networks in early October.

The streaming pay TV service is expected to lose two dozen Fox Sports-branded regional networks in early October.

When Google-backed YouTube TV reached a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group to preserve around two dozen Fox Sports-branded regional sports channels earlier this year, terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, nor was the length of its contractual agreement to carry the channels.

But in a series of announcements made on social media this week, YouTube TV revealed at least one term in the agreement: The deal was made for last than a year.

On Tuesday, YouTube TV warned subscribers that its agreement with Sinclair was coming to an end on October 1. Subscribers in areas with regional Fox Sports networks and the YES Network will lose access to those channels, and recordings from those stations will vanish from their cloud DVR library.

“This was a difficult decision to make after months of negotiations,” a YouTube TV spokesperson wrote on Twiter.

Responding to a question from a Twitter user, YouTube TV said it will not offer a price reduction despite dropping the channels. YouTube TV currently costs $65 a month plus tax for access to more than 80 local broadcast and national pay TV channels.

National Fox Sports channels, including FS1 and FS2, are not affected by the lapsed agreement because those channels are owned by Fox Corporation and covered under a separate agreement with YouTube TV. YouTube TV’s agreement to carry Sinclair’s local channels also appears to be unaffected by the expiring contract.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).