I'm not a Yankees fan (#LFGM) but I am a cord cutter and YouTube TV subscriber, so last week's news that YouTube's live TV streaming service would potentially lose a bunch of sports stations — including YES Network, home of the Yankees — didn't hit me personally. But I know plenty of Yankees fans, some of them wonderful people, and as one of CNET's streaming TV reviewers I also regularly tell readers to subscribe to YouTube TV. It's our favorite such service overall and a great choice for cord-cutters who still want live TV.
For many Yankees fans, however, YES Network is a must-have — especially now the 2020 MLB season is less than a month away. The same goes for fans of the numerous MLB baseball, NBA basketball and NHL hockey teams carried by Fox's stable of regional sports networks, now owned by Sinclair Broadcast group. Those networks include Marquee (Chicago Cubs), Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket (Los Angeles Clippers, Angels), Fox Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee Bucks, Brewers) and more.
For now those channels are still on YouTube TV thanks to a temporary extension while negotiations continue, but the future is uncertain. If you're a YouTube TV subscriber who must have YES or one of those stations, take heart. Since you didn't sign a contract, you have options even if those negotiations don't work out.
Best YouTube TV alternative with Fox RSNs and YES
Hulu with Live TV ($55 a month)
If YouTube TV ends up dropping YES and the rest of the Fox RSNs, Hulu is the least expensive live TV streaming alternative. You'll have to deal with Hulu's inferior (in my book) interface and DVR, and pay another $5 a month, but at least you get the team you want. And lots of Bob's Burgers.
Click here, select "View channels in your area" and enter your zip code to make sure Hulu carries the local sports network you want.
CNET reached out to Hulu to ask how long that service would continue to offer Fox RSNs and YES, but Hulu representatives didn't respond. Read our Hulu with Live TV review.
See at Hulu with Live TV
AT&T TV Now's Max package ($80 a month)
Whoa, that's a steep increase. You'll have to pay another $30 every month compared to YouTube TV and $25 more than Hulu, but on the plus side AT&T TV's Max package has more channels, including HBO (and coming in May, HBO Max). Note that AT&T TV Now's cheaper Plus package ($65 a month) doesn't have those RSNs.
Click here and enter your zip code to make sure AT&T TV Now carries the local sports network you want. Read our AT&T Now review.
See at AT&T TV Now
Other options: Cable or satellite?
Those are the only two live TV streaming services that carry YES and the other Fox sports stations that YouTube TV dropped. If neither of the two options above appeal to you and you still need one of those networks, you might have to get cable or satellite (but not Dish Network, which still doesn't have those stations). My advice? Try to avoid signing a two-year contract. These kinds of sports rights disputes are becoming more and more common and it's possible even major cable providers, like Comcast, could drop your favorite team. These are tumultuous TV times and it pays to stay nimble.
Originally published Feb. 28.
Update, Mar. 4: Reflects status of ongoing negotiations.
Comments TVs Sports YouTube Notification on Notification off Hulu