Yet another streaming service cut ties with Sinclair Broadcasting Group who owns several regional sports networks, including FSKC, affecting KC Royals fans.
A few months ago we noted that YouTube TV would no longer carry KC Royals games right before what was expected to be the beginning of the season. Now Hulu has announced that Fox Sports Kansas City will not be an option on its platform along with many other Fox Sports regional stations.
"Sinclair acquired the grouping of networks — which telecasts for 14 MLB teams, 17 NBA teams and 13 NHL clubs — from Disney last year in a $9.6 billion deal. – USA Today"
Despite the trend to switch to streaming services and “cut the cord”, Sinclair seems intent on alienating the sports fans who want to pay less for their television viewing. Perhaps the price they had to pay to Disney for the packages was too much and they are attempting to make it up by raising rates.
As the second-largest television station operator, it is possible Sinclair feels it holds the power and the streaming services should be honored to carry their products. With an estimated 50 million people expected to no longer use traditional cable and satellite services by 2024, it seems short-sighted.
Another potential reason is the dollar amount of fines paid by Sinclair recently. A record $48 million was agreed to with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in May which led to a payout of $25 million to their shareholders in August.
Here are some reactions from Twitter on news regarding Hulu and Sinclair:
How to watch Royals games?
The question is now how can KC Royals fans watch their games next season. 2021 should be the season they start to claw their way back into contention. With more potential exciting rookies getting playing time it will be disappointing if many fans are left out to dry.
If you are not a cable or satellite subscriber you could sign up for the MLB.TV package, however, if you live within a few hour’s drive of KC it may be marked as your hometown market meaning you are blacked out from Royals games. The options are not looking good if you wish to avoid traditional program providers that cost more and do not have the flexibility the streaming services provide.
Much can change between now the next season. Giving fans more, not fewer options, to watch their beloved KC Royals would be beneficial to the team and those who provide the games. In an era where things are becoming more accessible to everyone, the stranglehold sports put on who can view their product is absolutely baffling.