YouTube TV Drops MLB Network
Companies could not come to terms for renewing carriage agreement
YouTube TV on Tuesday dropped the MLB Network from its channel lineup. The service, part of the vMVPD’s basic $65 per month tier, was pulled because the network could not agree to terms to renew its carriage agreement with Google.
The announcement comes as MLB approaches its 2023 season in less than two months, Subscribers will lose access to any DVR content from the MLB Network but baseball fans will still have ESPN, Fox and TBS—also on YouTube TV’s basic tier—to watch their favorite teams.
“We have been working hard to renew our deal with the MLB Network to continue carrying their content on YouTube TV,” the company told its subscribers in an email. . “However, we have been unable to reach an agreement, and starting today, January 31, 2023, MLB Network content will no longer be available on YouTube TV. We apologize for the news and will continue conversations with the MLB to advocate on your behalf, in the hope of restoring their content on YouTube TV.
MLB Network released the following statement in response: "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. With the great demand and value for live baseball content, Major League Baseball’s commitment to MLB Network now and in the future is stronger than ever before, and we remain open and committed to reaching an agreement with YouTube TV as soon as possible."
MLB Network plans to air more than 250 live regular season and Spring Training games this year.
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.