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YouTube TV (and others) lose another sports channel

It’s never a good thing when a streaming service loses a channel. But this one isn’t all that surprising, since it was previously announced. YouTube TV — the largest livestreaming service in the U.S. with more than 5 million subscribers —  on September 29 sent an email to customers letting them know that the Olympic Channel was no more.

YouTube TV and Hulu apps on the Roku homescreen.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The email actually made it sound as if YouTube TV was caught by surprise. Here’s what it sent out:

“We have been informed that the Olympic Channel is ceasing operations for all distributors. Starting September 30, 2022, the Olympic Channel will no longer be available on YouTube TV. You will also lose access to any previous Library recordings from this channel.”

This is true. The Olympic Channel is no more. But it’s not a surprise. As noted by the Sports Business Journal in July, operators had been told for some time that the Olympic Channel was going to shut down on September 30. And it’s also not surprising given that NBCUniversal, which owned the Olympic Channel, has been consolidating its sports distribution in the past couple of years. Also on the chopping block was the NBCSports channel, with content moving to USA on the linear side, or Peacock in the streaming realm.

As the email from YouTube TV notes, it’s now as if the channel never existed. Anything you might have recorded on it in the past is now gone. And that’s almost certainly true for the other streaming services that carried the Olympic Channel, which included Sling TV and FuboTV.

The Olympics themselves, however, live on. Paris is slated to host the Summer Games in 2024, followed by Miland-Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy two years later for the Winter Games. Los Angeles follows for the 2028 Summer games.

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