FuboTV is beginning 2020 without the Disney-owned Fox networks or the Fox Sports RSNs purchased by Sinclair in 2019. And Verizon Fios wasn’t able to reach a deal with newly formed Terrier Media (formerly Cox Media and Bristlecone).
The loss of the Disney-owned channels on fuboTV isn’t that surprising since it doesn’t carry any Disney Media Networks, including ESPN. More surprising, given fubo’s billing as a sports OTT service, is the departure of the Fox Sports RSNs, which include YES Network, Fox Sports West and Fox Sports South.
“Standalone rates for these RSNs are not consistent with fuboTV’s mission to provide value and keep costs low to consumers,” fubo said in a statement to Cablefax. “As of January 1, 2020, these networks have left fuboTV, like they have with other virtual MVPDs. Despite these changes, fuboTV continues to be a sports-focused cable TV replacement with home team coverage in top markets. fuboTV’s carriage of regional sports networks includes full coverage in Chicago, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay area and Boston, significant coverage in New York, and we are the only vMVPD with home team coverage in Houston.”
The OTT streamer added that its base package features more than 40 channels that carry sports and over 700 local broadcast stations.
Sinclair said it was disappointed fuboTV dropped its 22 RSNs and urged the service’s subs to switch providers. “Fubo positions itself as a sports-first service, yet it has chosen not to carry our RSNs, ESPN or ABC. In addition, fubo has dropped Fox-affiliated television stations in nearly 40 markets, FX and National Geographic Channel,” the company said. “We offered FuboTV terms consistent with those agreed to by the many other providers that carry our RSNs – including other OTT providers such as YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and AT&T TV Now.”
Verizon retrans impasse with Terrier includes the loss of Boston Fox affil WFXT and Syracuse, NY, Fox affil WSYT. Thirteen stations, including MeTV and Laff affiliates, are dark on Fios. “Terrier has refused to accept our reasonable offers and won’t let us carry these channels. We are committed to reaching a fair agreement with them so that they can restore your access to their content,” Verizon told customers. The broadcaster said it offered Verizon extensions that were refused.
Other New Year’s Eve negotiations ended peacefully. Fox News and Fox Sports remained on NCTC members’ lineups after midnight, with the two hammering out final details on a deal. Some other outstanding deals, including Mediacom-Nexstar and Altice USA-TEGNA, were reached ahead of midnight. Hearst stations were still on DirecTV, with the two continuing to negotiate.