YouTube and Disney end battle, bring channels back to YouTube TV

Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

As it turned out, YouTube and Disney only needed another day (plus a few hours) to get together and be friends again. For YouTube TV subscribers, that means paying $64.99 a month again for the service, which now includes the 17 Disney channels and local ABC News stations that briefly disappeared from the platform.

After not reach a new transportation deal on Friday, the day the old deal expired, and a barrage of media attention, YouTube and Disney announced they were hitting a new deal on Sunday. YouTube said it had already started restoring access to Disney-owned networks, such as ESPN and FX, and restored subscriber recordings from the networks to their libraries. Subscribers’ personal preferences and recommendations were not affected by the outage, YouTube said, and remain as they were on Friday.

In addition to, YouTube announced that it would honor the one-time $15 discount it announced for Basic plan subscribers when they lost access to Disney networks, even if it was just for a little more than a day. Subscribers automatically receive a $15 credit on their next bill and do not need to take any action.

Interestingly, YouTube said it will offer the $15 discount to subscribers who have taken steps to cancel their YouTube TV subscription, as long as they resume their membership before losing access.

Neither of them gave much detail about the new agreement, although it appears from the wording in the statements that it was YouTube that gave in. That would make sense considering it faced losing a potentially significant number of subscribers seeking juggernauts like ESPN and FX.

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The struggle, as you can probably imagine, was about money. YouTube wanted Disney to “treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider” and offer the same rates that comparable sized services pay. Disney, meanwhile, wanted to reach a “fair, market-based agreement.”

Disney told Gizmodo in a statement on Sunday that it appreciated “Google’s” [which owns YouTube] cooperation to achieve fair, market-based conditions.”

“We value Google’s partnership to achieve fair terms consistent with the marketplace, and are delighted that our robust lineup of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment is currently being restored to YouTube TV. subscribers around the world,” said Disney.

YouTube that the news about the new deal in one blog post, made no mention of the terms of the deal. Notably, the statement failed to mention an “equitable agreement,” a phrase it had repeatedly emphasized in its… previous posts about this for the public and subscribers.

“We apologize for the interruption and appreciate your patience as we continued to negotiate on your behalf,” YouTube said. “We also appreciate Disney’s partnership and willingness to work toward an agreement.”

YouTube notes that some subscribers may have trouble finding Disney content in their custom live guides. In this case, YouTube advises affected users to find their favorite Disney channels and add them back to the guide. Not all local ABC News stations are back up and running yet, though YouTube says it’s working on it and should be accessible soon.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if YouTube or Disney got the better deal, the clear winners here are YouTube TV subscribers. They only lost their Disney content for one day, got a $15 discount and don’t have to shop around for another streaming service that has the content they want.

The 17 Disney channels, minus the local ABC channels, that are now back on YouTube TV are listed below.

  • ABC News Live
  • Disney channel
  • Disney Junior
  • disney xD
  • free form
  • FX
  • FXX
  • FXM
  • National Geographic
  • National Geographic Wild
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
  • SEC network
  • ACC network

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