Sling Drops All Fox Networks from its Lineup

I’m one of those cord-cutters, who dropped their cable subscription for TV, and went with air antenna for local channels, and subscribed to streaming service.  I particularly chose Sling, mostly from word of mouth, and the subscription was pretty low.  Those also included a few local channels (just in case my air antenna cannot get a good signal, which can be common in the Bay Area).

For some odd reason, some channels are not reachable at all with my air antenna.  It seemed like most of those were stations based out of Oakland area, but not sure.  Luckily, the Fox affiliate was on Sling … until this past Thursday.  This seemed to be in the news of late:

From MSN’s web site:

The dispute stems from a carriage dispute between Fox and Dish. Both the satellite network and Sling, their over-the-top internet TV service, have not carried Fox regional sports networks for two months since their sale to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. That deal was brought upon by the Fox’s Corporation’s sale to The Walt Disney Company earlier this summer.

A Fox spokesperson expressed sympathy toward Dish’s 12 million satellite users:

“Dish/Sling is at it again, choosing to drop leading programming as a negotiating tactic regardless of the impact on its own customers. Dish/Sling elected to drop Fox networks in an effort to coerce us to agree to outrageous demands. While we regret this is Dish/Sling’s preferred approach to negotiating, we remind our loyal viewers that the Fox services are widely available through every other major television provider.”

The drop comes at an inopportune time for sports fans. Fox networks not only carry college and professional football (the NFL and the XFL starting February), but they will also feature a good portion of the MLB playoffs, including the World Series. The effects could be felt as soon as tonight, as the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package makes its 2019 debut in Green Bay for a game between the Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Yeah, I noticed that on Thursday night too!  Luckily, they also had it broadcast on Amazon Prime, of which I subscribe to already, so I didn’t miss that game.

So I started searching for alternative streaming services … YouTube TV!  I looked at it, and compared the pricing to Sling, and it was comparable.  Looking further, it actually had more variety, for a little more per month ($49 as opposed to $45).  Come to think of it, I did also have some add-ons to Sling (like on-demand DVR recordings), so the price actually may be equal.  YouTube TV also has a bunch of local TV offered too (other than the Fox affiliate).

I lucked out, because one of the channels YouTube TV had, but Sling didn’t have, was Olympic Channel.  They happen to be broadcasting UCI World Championships this week.  So I lucked out, and was able to watch the finals of the Men’s World Championship Road Race.  Nice!

So goodbye Sling, and hello YouTube TV.

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