Hulu Dropping Sinclair Regional Sports Networks

Addison Russell (27) of the Chicago Cubs during a regular season Sunday Night Baseball game.
(Image credit: Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

Hulu has announced that its live TV service will no longer carry the Fox regional sports networks now owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, effective Friday.

In a post on its web site Hulu said it will “no longer have the rights” to distribute the channels.

The move comes after the end of the baseball season and follows the networks being dropped Oct. 1 by YouTube TV, another virtual MVPD aimed at sports fans. 

Hulu has been running TV spots proclaiming that it has live sports.

“Live TV subscribers will still have access to a wide variety of national and local networks depending on your location — like ESPN, TBS, TNT, FS1, FS2, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, and more — so you can continue watching your favorite live sports on our service,” Hulu said.

Sinclair bought 21 Regional Sports Networks for $9.6 billion through a subsidiary called Diamond Sports Group from the The Walt Disney Co. last year. Disney had acquired them when it bought 21st Century Fox, but had to sell them to satisfy antitrust regulators.

Sinclair also owns an interest in the YES Network in New York and the new Marquee Sports Network, a joint venture with the Chicago Cubs.

The RSN struggled when sports were suspended this spring because of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week it was reported that Sinclair was trying to restructure $8 billion in debt that it took on to buy the RSNs.

The networks affected are FS Arizona, FS Detroit, FS Florida, FS Midwest (including FS Indiana and FS Kansas City), FS North (including FS Wisconsin), FS Ohio, FS Prime Ticket, FS San Diego, FS South (including FS Tennessee and FS Carolinas), FS Southeast, FS Southwest (including FS Oklahoma and FS New Orleans), FS Sun, FS West, Marquee Sports Network, SportsTime Ohio, and YES Network.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.