MLB Network benched on YouTube TV

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MLB Network has been yanked from YouTube TV’s lineup after the two sides failed to come to an agreement on how much the digital TV provider pays for the privilege to carry the channel.

MLB Network is primarily owned by MLB, with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, NBC Sports Group, Charter and Cox holding smaller shares.

The channel went dark for YouTube TV subscribers as of January 31, 2023, when the two companies’ current deal expired. YouTube also removed any content recorded by users, which isn’t usually done when traditional pay-TV providers remove a channel.

Of course, each side blames the other for the failed talks, with MLB noting that viewers lost access to the channel shortly before spring training season began.

YouTube did not announce any price adjustments to its monthly fee due to losing the channel. In the past it lowered its price significantly when it initially was unable to come to a deal with Disney on a deal to carry multiple networks plus local stations in major markets.

A deal was originally worked out and the price went back to the old level.

MLB games, meanwhile, will still be available on ESPN, Fox and TBS, according to existing broadcast rights deals with those networks. However, any original MLB Network programming, such as “MLB Tonight” won’t be available.

Most of the games MLB Network airs are simulcasts of a feed produced outside of MLB Network. In some cases, MLB Network carries coverage of a game that is airing on another network, but uses its own production team.

Other games do air exclusively on MLB Network.