Illustration by William Joel / The Verge
Google has warned that YouTube TV could lose access to over a dozen Disney-owned channels later this week if it’s unable to renew its agreement with the company. In a blog post, YouTube TV says its current deal with Disney is due to expire this Friday, December 17th, after which the channels could disappear if it’s unable to reach a new agreement.
“Our ask of Disney, as with all of our partners, is to treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider – by offering us the same rates that services of a similar size pay, across Disney’s channels for as long as we carry them,” YouTube’s blog post reads.
Here’s the list of impacted channels. The Hollywood Reporter notes that eight ABC local stations could also disappear from YouTube TV.
ABC News Live
National Geographic Wild
ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
In a statement given to Variety, Disney said that it’s “committed to working with Google to reach a fair, market-based agreement.”
“We are optimistic that we can reach a deal and continue to provide their YouTube TV customers with our live sporting events and news coverage plus kids, family and general entertainment programming,” Disney said.
We always want to be transparent and give you a heads-up during these active conversations. Disney is an important partner, and we’re optimistic that we can work with Disney and keep their content available on YouTube TV. For live updates: https://t.co/R7MzaOv0p5
— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) December 13, 2021
If a deal can’t be reached by December 17th, YouTube TV says it will decrease its prices by $15 per month while Disney’s channels are off its service. It says that customers are free to pause or cancel their memberships at any time, and points them towards Disney’s $13.99 per month streaming bundle if they want to maintain access to “some” of Disney’s content.
This is just the latest high profile carriage dispute YouTube TV has been involved in this year. These have affected both the company’s deals to offer streaming content from other companies, as well as its agreements with hardware providers to host YouTube’s apps. Less than three months ago the service was just days away from losing access to NBCUniversal’s channels before reaching an agreement in early October, and earlier this month it finally reached an agreement with Roku for it to continue carrying YouTube’s apps.