Hulu + Live TV has become the latest virtual MVPD to drop Sinclair’s Fox regional sports networks.
The company said that starting October 23, 2020, it will no longer have the rights to distribute several RSNs that were previously included in its live TV plans. The impacted networks include:
- FS Arizona
- FS Detroit
- FS Florida
- FS Midwest (including FS Indiana and FS Kansas City)
- FS North (including FS Wisconsin)
- FS Ohio
- FS Prime Ticket
- FS San Diego
- FS South (including FS Tennessee and FS Carolinas)
- FS Southeast
- FS Southwest (including FS Oklahoma and FS New Orleans)
- FS Sun
- FS West
- Marquee Sports Network
- SportsTime Ohio
- YES Network
Though Hulu is dropping the Fox RSNs, it will still carry several sports-related networks including ESPN, TBS, TNT, FS1, FS2, Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC.
The programming change at Hulu + Live TV follows YouTube TV’s announcement that it was dropping Fox regional sports networks after earlier this year negotiating an extension for the channels.
Earlier in the year, Google’s live streaming TV service extended its carriage agreement with the Fox RSNs through the end of the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons, but stopped carrying the networks as of Oct. 1.
“This was a difficult decision made after months of negotiations. We hope we can bring FOX RSNs back in the future. We thank you for your membership as we work to make YouTube TV the best streaming experience. You will receive an email today if you are impacted by this change,” the company tweeted.
“We value our ongoing relationship with YouTube TV, however, we are deeply disappointed with its decision to not carry certain RSNs. We offered competitive market terms but, ultimately, YouTube TV declined,” said David Gibber, senior vice president and general counsel of Sinclair, in a statement. “We encourage YouTube TV subscribers who value these RSNs to turn to other streaming services or their local cable or satellite provider for continued access, or to directly contact YouTube TV with feedback.”
Sinclair said it offered Hulu a deal "consistent with terms agreed to by other distributors" but the streaming service declined. "It is unfortunate that Hulu has chosen to take away some of the most popular sports programming on TV from millions of subscribers," said Barry Faber, Sinclair's president of distribution and network relations, in a statement.
As The Streamable pointed out, the livestreaming options for the Fox RSNs are running thin. AT&T TV Now is the only vMVPD that currently carries the networks and that’s only through its $80/month plan.