Photo: Reed Saxon (AP)
It looks like YouTube won’t stop battling broadcasters and streaming platforms this year. YouTubes latest feud with disney however, via YouTube TV can really feel like a punch in the stomach due to the amount of content it loses.
At midnight on Saturday, YouTube announced in a blog post that it had failed to strike a new deal with Disney to keep the content on YouTube TV, the live TV streaming service with more than 85 channels, before the current deal expired on December 17. As a result, YouTube TV will lose 17 Disney channels, including big names like ESPN, National Geographic and FX, as well as at least eight local ABC stations.
YouTube stated that it would lower the monthly price for subscribers by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99, while keeping content on the platform. This price reduction is applied automatically and requires no additional customer actions.
In its blog post, YouTube said it had negotiated “in good faith” with Disney for several months, but was unable to reach an “equitable agreement” despite its best efforts. To be clear, the battle here is about money. YouTube wants Disney to give it the same rates that similarly sized TV providers pay.
“We know this is frustrating news for our customers and not what we wanted. We will continue discussions with Disney to advocate on your behalf in hopes of reinstating their content on YouTube TV,” YouTube said.
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The full list of Disney channels snatched from YouTube TV, excluding the affected local ABC stations, is included below.
- ABC News Live
- Disney channel
- Disney Junior
- disney xD
- free form
- National Geographic
- National Geographic Wild
- ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
- ESP NEWS
- SEC network
- ACC network
For customers seeking access to Disney content, YouTube pointed them out The Disney Bundle, a $13.99 per month subscription offered by Disney that gives users access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Should YouTube and Disney reach an agreement, YouTube would adjust its price accordingly and notify its subscribers of the change via email.
Gizmodo reached out to Disney on Saturday to comment on the negotiations with YouTube, but received no response at the time of publication. We’ll make sure to update this article if we hear anything.
In a statement to VarietyDisney said it was ready to come to an “equitable agreement” as soon as possible.
“We are in ongoing negotiations with Google’s YouTube TV and unfortunately they have refused to make a fair deal with us based on market terms,” Disney said, adding: “We are ready to enter into a fair deal with Google as to minimize inconvenience to YouTube TV viewers by restoring our networks, and we hope Google will join us in that.”
From a subscriber’s perspective, YouTube’s frequent battles with others are dizzying and hard to keep up with. (It buried the hatchet with NBCUniversal in October and ended his feud with Roku earlier this month). More problematic is the fact that access to content can disappear overnight, as has happened in this case, meaning users have to look for another way to get their content at a good price and avoid the pain of signing up. need to complete process yet again.
Let’s face it: it’s not the end of the world, but it’s extremely annoying. Unfortunately, with the rise of new streaming platforms left and right, it’s likely that these disputes will affect access to our favorite shows for quite some time.
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