TV Answer Man, I saw that the contract with MLB Network and YouTube TV has lapsed and the network has been removed from YouTube TV. Will this have any impact on MLB TV being offered on YouTube TV this year? — Jason, town withheld.
Jason, YouTube TV informed subscribers on January 31 in an e-mail that it will no longer carry MLB Network due to a carriage dispute.
“We have been working hard to renew our deal with the MLB Network to continue carrying their content on YouTube TV,” the e-mail stated. “However, we have been unable to reach an agreement.”
“With Spring Training about to start, we regret that YouTube TV has been unwilling to negotiate a fair carriage agreement. MLB Network has offered terms consistent with what close to 300 other U.S. providers have agreed to for distribution,” MLB Network said in a January 31 statement.
Since the dispute began, I have received several e-mails asking if the fee fight would affect YouTube TV’s ability to offer MLB.TV, the league’s online package of out-of-market regular season games. YouTube TV has sold the package to its subscribers for a few years and has incorporated the games into its on-screen programming guide.
Well, YouTube TV today notified MLB TV subscribers that it can no longer offer the baseball package due to the MLB Network impasse.
“We recently informed members about our deal expiration with the MLB Network…Unfortunately, this also affects the MLB TV add-on and standalone channel on YouTube TV,” the e-mail states. “Starting today, February 16, 2023, MLB TV content will no longer be available on YouTube TV and you will no longer be charged…You will also lose access to any previous Library recordings from MLB TV.”
The TV Answer Man has repeatedly asked MLB TV for a comment on the YouTube TV dispute but has yet to receive a response.
MLB TV issued this statement this afternoon:
“While we continue to be disappointed that YouTube TV has not negotiated a fair carriage agreement for MLB Network consistent with what close to 300 other U.S. providers have agreed to, fans should know that MLB.TV continues to be widely available as a direct to consumer service. Fans can go to MLB.TV to sign up for MLB’s out-of-market service that last year set a record with more than 11 billion minutes watched of MLB action in its 20th anniversary season.”
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— Phillip Swann