YouTube TV could lose ESPN, ABC, FX and other Disney channels this week


YouTube TV has warned viewers that channels including ABC, ESPN, FX and others could disappear on December 17 at 11:59 PM if Disney can’t come to terms with Disney’s transportation costs. If that happens, YouTube TV will cut the price by $15 (from $65 to $50) while Disney content will remain out of service.

“Disney is an important partner for us. We are in active discussions with them and are working hard to keep their content on YouTube TV,” a press release said. “Our demand for Disney, as it is for all of our partners, is to treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider — by offering us the same rates that pay similar-sized services, across all Disney channels for as long as we offer them. Disney offers us fair terms, we will renew our agreement with them.”

The platform, which is owned by Google, said it is “optimistic” that it can negotiate a deal with Disney and that it has “a very successful track record in negotiating such agreements with providers”. That said, YouTube TV has also seen some failed negotiations, such as when it disappeared from new Roku devices in April 2021 before finally returning in December.

Google came to terms with Roku just before the main YouTube app disappeared, so there’s some hope it can reach a deal with Disney before the December 17 deadline. But just in case YouTube TV said users may want to sign up for the $14 Disney bundle to keep access to ABC and other channels.

YouTube TV only recently launched in April 2017, but with four million subscribers, it has become one of the best cord cutters, along with Disney’s Hulu, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the parties cannot agree, about 25 channels can disappear.

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