After failing to reach a renewal agreement, MLB Network is no longer available on YouTube TV. Additionally, DVR recordings of the MLB Network have disappeared from users’ accounts. This bad news comes just weeks before 2023 Spring Training, which begins February 24th.
As The Streamable notes, this is the first YouTube TV carriage dispute in more than a year. But Google has a long history of arguing over streaming rights—it spent months arguing with Roku in 2021, and at one point, it temporarily lost access to Disney-owned channels.
Still, some customers are optimistic about this MLB situation. When YouTube TV temporarily dropped Disney, the channels returned just one day later, presumably due to high-pressure negotiations. The same could happen with the MLB Network. (Personally, I’m not so optimistic.)
YouTube TV is currently apologizing to customers over email. It notes that you can still catch some national MLB games on FOX, ESPN, and TBS, which are all included in the YouTube TV Base Plan. Additionally, YouTube TV tells customers that they’re free to pause their plan at any time.
MLB Network is still available on Sling TV, Fubo TV, and DirecTV Stream. That said, if you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, I suggest waiting a bit to see how this story develops. You can pause your YouTube TV plan if you want to avoid your monthly fee for a bit.