Q. I don’t see NESN in my YouTube TV lineup anymore. Did it get dropped? Did I miss something, or is there a technical glitch of some kind? — Teresa, Westborough, Massachusetts.
Teresa, you’re not experiencing a technical glitch. YouTube TV announced last week that it would no longer carry NESN, the TV home of the Red Sox and Bruins, effective October 31, which was Saturday.
The news was relayed to YouTube TV subscribers via e-mail and on social media sites.
“We’re writing to let you know that our agreement with New England Sports Network (NESN) has expired,” the e-mail stated. “Unfortunately, we were unable to reach a new agreement to continue offering this network. Starting this Saturday, October 31, 2020, NESN will no longer be available on YouTube TV.”
The two sides could not agree on new carriage terms, but NESN quickly pointed the finger of blame at YouTube TV.
“We are disappointed that despite offering our most favorable terms, YouTube TV decided to remove NESN from its lineup,” the regional sports network told one customer on Twitter. “YT TV recently increased your rates 30% & is now taking away the #1 rated cable net in Prime the last 3 yrs.”
YouTube TV in late June raised its base monthly price from $50 to $65, which was a 30 percent increase.
Many YouTube TV subscribers criticized the rate hike at the time, and then again in late September when the streamer lost the Sinclair-owned regional sports channels due to a separate fee fight. They complained that YouTube TV should not raise their prices if they not going to carry as many channels as it did before.
But YouTube TV could decide to bring back NESN, and the Sinclair sports channels, when the NBA and NHL seasons begin in a few months, or when the 2021 MLB season starts next April. The demand for live sports is limited now because the three professional sports leagues are in hiatus.
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— Phillip Swann