Contract disputes effecting Columbus Crew SC fan’s ability to watch the Crew games is becoming a reoccurring event.
On July 26, 2019, Dish Network announced that the Fox Regional Sports Networks would be blacked out until a new contract had been reached with Sinclair Broadcast Group (owners and operators of Fox Regional Sports). This announcement and resulting blackout left Dish and Sling subscribers unable to watch any locally broadcasted Crew games for the remainder of the 2019 season and will carry over into the upcoming 2020 season.
Many Dish customers jumped ship, in order to ensure their Black & Gold viewing would go uninterrupted, and for those who made the switch to YoutubeTV, the announcement on Thursday that the streaming service wouldn’t carry FOX regional sports networks was an all too familiar one.z
We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you. Despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair. As a result, we will no longer offer FOX Regional Sports Networks, including YES Network, beginning February 29th.— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) February 27, 2020
Just three days before the season kickoff between the Crew and New York City FC, Youtube TV announced they too were having contract disputes with Sinclair that would leave their subscribers unable to watch any Fox Sports broadcasts of the Black & Gold.
But before you rush to cancel that YouTubeTV Subscription, however, it would appear a solution has been reached, albeit temporarily, that will allow YouTubeTV users to catch the season opener after all.
Negotiations are still underway! In the meantime, we've agreed to a temporary extension. FOX RSNs and YES Network are still available on YT TV while we work to reach an agreement. We’ll send out an update as soon as we have more info on a resolution.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) February 29, 2020
While no official announcement has been made by YouTubeTV about the overall contract negotiations, the TeamYouTube Twitter account has announced that a temporary extension has been worked out that will allow YouTubeTV to continue broadcasting the FOX regional sports channels.
This is great news for supporters of the Black & Gold, as you’re currently not stuck with the decision of missing any games or switching to a more expensive cable provider in order to continue accessing Fox Sports.
This news follows the Crew’s announcement of a multi-year extension of the team’s radio contract with RadiOhio. The Black & Gold’s games will continue to be broadcast on 97.1 The Fan or 1460 ESPN with Chris Doran on the radio broadcast. Long time commentator Juan Valladares will be Spanish voice of the team via an audio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com