It’s been three months since Hulu and YouTube TV lost the 21 Sinclair-owned Fox regional sports channels, but their subscribers seem more upset now than ever with the 2020-21 NBA season underway and the NHL ready to drop puck next month. The social media sites are filled with angry comments from sports fans who can not watch their favorite teams. (The Sinclair RSNs have the exclusive broadcast rights to NBA, NHL and MLB teams in their respective regions.)
Sling TV and Dish have not carried the RSNs since July 2019 due to a separate dispute with Sinclair, but their customers are just as upset as ever. As is the FuboTV sports fans who have been without the Sinclair channels since February.
While some subscribers blame their providers for the blackout, a large number, perhaps even a clear majority, see Sinclair as the villain in this TV drama. They note that Sinclair has been unable to reach agreements with several TV services, which they say suggests the company is asking for too much money to carry its channels.
“Sinclair overpaid for FSN and is making every cord cutter suffer for their greed and incompetence,” tweets @veen125.
“Blame it on sh—–Sinclair Broadcasting. Cant get FS on Hulu, YouTube TV or Sling,” writes @brewcrew2228.
“Considering the many different streaming services (not to mention Dish Network) not carrying FSN and other Sinclair-owned regionals, I think we know which party has unreasonable demands,” adds @chrisshields.
“Sinclair bought Fox Sports from Disney. Sinclair started charging too much for the regional sports stations and now youtube, hulu, and sling no longer carry the channel in multiple states. So a lot of fans can no longer watch the NBA, MLS, NHL or MLB unless they get cable,” tweets @JD_Alsobrook.
“Sinclair is solely to blame for nearly all (all?) streaming services dropping RSNs when their contracts are up for renegotiation,” tweets @mccrimmins.
“Sinclair media is devil’s fodder,” writes @bumphbean.
The volume of negative comments directed solely at Sinclair is different than what normally occurs in fee fights. Subscribers typically blame their providers first, or say both parties are responsible. (And there are certainly people doing both in this situation.) But Sinclair seems to be taking the biggest hit because it’s involved in so many disputes. It’s easier for a Hulu subscriber, for instance, to give his provider some slack because three other live streaming services are undergoing the same problem, as is Dish. With so many companies having trouble finding common ground with Sinclair, it’s an easy jump in logic to say Sinclair must be the reason why.
“I don’t doubt their desire to make money, but you should blame Sinclair. Fox Sports Ohio isn’t available on Dish, Hulu, Sling, or YouTubeTV. That’s no coincidence,” says @AlbinoDigits.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann