New York Yankees fans with a YouTube TV subscription are losing YES Network due to a dispute between YouTube and Sinclair Broadcast Group.
For some New York Yankees fans, it’s going to be difficult to watch the Bronx Bombers in 2020. On Thursday, YouTube TV announced that they failed to reach a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group. Thus, FOX Regional Sports Networks will be shut out from the online streaming service.
Sorry, Yankee diehards. Yes, this includes YES Network.
We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you. Despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair. As a result, we will no longer offer FOX Regional Sports Networks, including YES Network, beginning February 29th.
— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) February 27, 2020
Although YouTube TV’s public statement should be concerning for fans, these things often have a way of working themselves out. Presumably, most Yankees fans would drop YouTube TV and pursue another streaming service that offers YES Network.
Either that, or fans can pull out the transistor radio and go old school. After all, John Sterling and his compañero Suzyn Waldman might be the most ridiculous duo in baseball radio, but Yankees fans have a soft spot for those two.
Of course, this is a disagreement between Sinclair and YouTube TV, but it speaks to a larger issue plaguing MLB. Fans, especially those who are choosing to cut the cord on traditional cable, are often shut out from watching their favorite teams. Local blackouts are another issue commissioner Rob Manfred must figure out.
As Manfred continues to tinker with the game to help bring younger fans into the fold, he’s overlooking the bigger problem. Young fans don’t care so much about three-batter minimums or mound visits to speed up the game. They care about being able to watch their team in non-traditional ways—like YouTube TV.