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Sinclair, YouTube agree to temporarily keep Fox Sports on YouTube TV while negotiating

Negotiations will continue, but while the companies sort out their differences, fans can still catch their sports.

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YouTube TV users will still be able to get Fox Sports and the YES Network, for the time being. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The battle between the Sinclair Broadcast Group and YouTube TV has cooled, at least for now. After a brief moment Thursday where it seemed that YouTube TV was going to pull the 23 Sinclair-owned sports channels over a dispute on its broadcasting agreement, the two sides have agreed to keep the channels on the YouTube TV's digital airwaves while they continue to negotiate. 

YouTube TV's Twitter, which has been keeping subscribers updated on the situation, confirmed the temporary agreement Friday night. Had such an agreement not been reached, YouTube TV users around the country were going to lose access to much of their live sports on Saturday. 

Sinclair owns 21 Fox Sports regional sports networks that broadcast a large number of NBA, NHL and MLB games. The group also owns the Chicago Cubs-focused Marquee network and is one of the owners of the YES Network, which airs New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games in the New York area.

Read more: YouTube TV dropped Fox sports channels and YES Network. Hulu to the rescue

Tweets from the account Monday morning to anxious sports fans confirmed that negotiations are still underway, though how long the temporary agreement will last is not known. 

The timing of the dispute comes at a particularly busy time for sports fans, with college conference basketball tournaments set to begin over the next few weeks, the race to the playoffs occurring in the NHL and NBA, and Opening Day for Major League Baseball's regular season taking place in a few weeks.

Disputes over sports broadcasts are not uncommon, however, with Dish Network dropping Sinclair's channels on its satellite service and Sling TV streaming service in July over a similar issue. A dispute with FuboTV has led the sports-focused streaming service to be without Sinclair's channels since the start of the year

Sinclair did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the current status of its negotiations with YouTube TV.

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