Q. Hey, what happened to the Tennis Channel on YouTube TV?! Did they get rid of it, too? Are they getting rid of all sports channels? It seems like it!! — Larry, Vero Beach, Florida.
Larry, I’m sorry to inform you that YouTube TV’s contract to carry the Tennis Channel expired last night. The live streaming service last week notified subscribers via e-mail that it would no longer have it, and today it posted this response to a Twitter follower:
“Thanks for reaching out – our agreement to carry the Tennis Channel has ended, and from November 30, 2020, the channel will no longer be available on YouTube TV. Subscribers won’t be able to watch this station anymore, and will also lose any recordings that have been saved.”
The Tennis Channel is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, which also owns the 21 Fox-named regional sports channels that YouTube TV removed in September after failing to agree to a new carriage deal.
This might suggest that YouTube TV is looking to jettison sports programming altogether, but the streamer still offers a ‘Sports Plus’ package, which include the RedZone Channel, NFL Network, Fox College Sports, GolTV, Fox Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, TVG, and the Stadium channel. The plan is $10.99 a month.
What the Tennis Channel’s exit does say is that all live streaming services, including YouTube TV, are carefully examining which channels they carry and will not hesitate to drop one if it doesn’t justify the carriage expense. Programming acquisition costs are soaring, and the live streamers still charge less than cable and satellite operators. Consequently, their profit margins are much thinner, necessitating the hardline stance.
Larry, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann