YouTube TV Warns You May Lose All Disney-Owned Channels Amid Contract Dispute

YouTube application icon on a TV screen.

Getty Images | Chris mcgrath

YouTube TV warned yesterday that it could lose all Disney-owned channels after Friday due to a contract dispute and said it will temporarily lower its price by $ 15 a month if that happens.

“We are now in negotiations with Disney to continue distributing their content on YouTube TV so that you can continue to watch everything from your favorite teams on ESPN to The Bachelor and Good Morning America. Our deal expires on Friday, December 17, and we haven’t yet. done”. “We haven’t been able to reach a fair settlement yet, so we wanted to give you advance notice so you can understand your options,” Google-owned YouTube wrote in a blog post.

“[I]If we cannot reach an agreement by Friday, Disney-owned channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $ 15, from $ 64.99 to $ 49.99 (while this content remains off our platform) “, YouTube noted that users can pause or cancel their YouTube TV subscriptions at any time and subscribe to the Disney package for $ 13.99 per month.

YouTube’s statement that it wants “fair” terms indicates that it is seeking a most-favored-nation (MFN) clause from Disney. “Our request to Disney, as with all our partners, is to treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider, offering us the same rates that pay for services of a similar size, on all Disney channels as long as we have them. If Disney offers us a level playing field, we will renew our agreement with them, “YouTube wrote.

When contacted by Ars, Disney said the contract is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday and covers “television stations owned by ABC, ESPN networks, Disney channels, Freeform, television networks. FX and National Geographic channels… “Disney expressed confidence that companies can avoid a blackout:

Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution has a highly successful track record of negotiating such deals with vendors of all shapes and sizes across the country and is committed to working with Google to reach a fair, market-based settlement. We are optimistic that we can compromise and continue to provide your YouTube TV customers with our live sporting events and news coverage, as well as children’s, family and general entertainment programming.

YouTube resolved disputes with NBC and Roku

YouTube’s demand for an MFN clause was also one of the sticking points in its recent dispute with Comcast-owned NBCUniversal. In that case, the companies had to agree to a short extension to avoid a blackout when the original contract expired. A day later, they announced a multi-year deal to keep NBC on YouTube TV.

The YouTube / NBC negotiations were contentious in part because NBCUniversal asked YouTube TV to include Peacock, NBC’s streaming service that apparently failed to garner many paying subscribers. A Disney spokesperson told Ars that Disney did not ask YouTube TV to include Disney +.

A recent dispute between Roku and Google resulted in the removal of the YouTube TV app from the Roku Channel Store. Google and Roku struck a deal to end that impasse last week, a day before the regular YouTube app was removed from the Roku store.

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