By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, what does YouTube TV have against baseball fans? They got rid of MLB Network, MLB TV, Yes Network, Bally Sports and now SNY! Okay, they have the Sunday Ticket, but what about us baseball fans? YouTube TV doesn’t seem to care about us?!! — Bret, New York.

Bret, you are not alone in your lament. Many fans are commenting on social media that YouTube TV, the multi-channel, live streaming service owned by Google, seems to have something against baseball fans. This year alone, the streamer has lost MLB Network, MLB TV and SNY (the TV home of the New York Mets) in carriage disputes.

In addition, YouTube TV lost the Yes Network, the New York Yankees channel, in 2020 and the Bally Sports regional sports networks, which carries 14 MLB teams regionally, that year as well.  The announcement last week that YouTube TV would lose SNY on July 1 seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Will be dropping @youtubetv soon if they don’t continue to carry @SNYtv  It was bad enough when they dropped @YESNetwork  and @MLBNetwork, but this is ridiculous. Especially since they keep raising prices. Also, should have used AI to notify customers because email was lame,” tweeted @ParentDefender.

“This is a great tweet and it’s true! @YouTubeTV raised its prices in April and have dropped YES (Yankees), SNY (Mets) and MLB Network. They’re going to lose a lot of customers,” responded @NY_Sportstown.

Does YouTube TV have something against baseball fans?

Well, of course not.

The decision to jettison the RSNs and perhaps MLB Network (and MLB TV) as well likely stems from Google’s decision to invest $2.2 billion a year for the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket. Google may be (okay, is) a very profitable company but it’s not going to run YouTube TV as an altruistic, non-profit organization. With the sizable Sunday Ticket investment, it needs to be more careful with its programming expenditures, particularly regional sports networks which are expensive to carry. Otherwise, it would have to raise its monthly base price of $72.99 to a level where many subscribers would defect.

YouTube TV, however, is risking alienating some baseball fans, especially in the New York area. But the streamer’s executive team probably is calculating that they will stay on board to get the Sunday Ticket, which is a YouTube exclusive.

Bret, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann