New York Mets pay-TV network SNY has been dropped by YouTube TV in the latest sign of decline for the traditional regional sports network model.

In an email to its subscribers (with the ominous subject line “Service Update on SNY”), YouTube TV said the network would be taken off its service on 11:59 p.m. on June 30. It didn’t offer any explanation and suggested that subscribers interested in watching Mets games could simply tune into national ones shown by Fox, ESPN or TBS, all of which are remaining on YouTube TV.

SNY tweeted that the end of the line on YouTube TV came “despite our best efforts” and urged viewers who watch via YouTube to “find another provider.”

SNY, short for SportsNet New York, is controlled by Sterling Equities (former Mets owner Fred Wilpon’s private firm), with Charter and Comcast holding minority stakes. It says it reaches 8 million households in the New York area and another 12 million nationally. YouTube TV said last summer it had passed 5 million subscribers, making it one of the largest pay-TV operators in the U.S.

Because sports rights are expensive, and therefore RSNs must charge operators high fees, the networks have had spotty coverage on internet-based platforms, going missing on Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. Fubo, which has marketed itself as a sports-first internet bundle, carries RSNs but reached an impasse with WarnerMedia’s networks in 2020, meaning NBA games and other sports aren’t offered on the service.

Streaming is increasingly seen as a potential avenue for RSNs as the pay-TV bundle sheds millions of customers a year. The YES Network and NESN are among stand-alone RSNs to roll out subscription streaming offerings and Diamond Sports Group, which is going through bankruptcy proceedings, has launched a Bally Sports service. The question for these new players is whether fans will object to the high price point, generally around $20 a month, as opposed to having their access layered in with other fees in the traditional bundle.

Wilpon led the launch of SNY in 2006 after the Mets became enmeshed in a dispute with Cablevision (now Altice), which owned MSG Network. At the time, the number of pay-TV subscribers was increasing, making it easier to achieve scale with a regional sports network.

The Mets have always been the main property on SNY, unlike other RSNs, which carry Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL games. SNY also airs college sports and other minor draws and covers the NFL’s New York Jets outside of game broadcasts.


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