YouTube TV loses ESPN, other Disney networks after failing to strike new deal

YouTube TV failed to strike an eleventh-hour deal with Disney to keep more than a dozen Disney-owned channels on the TV’s live streaming service. As of December 18, popular networks, including ESPN and ABC, have been removed from the service. As promised, YouTube TV dropped its subscription to $ 50 per month as a direct result of the lost programming.

Disney said in a statement Friday night that after ongoing negotiations with YouTube TV, “they refused to come to a fair deal with us based on terms and conditions of the deal.”

“As a result, their subscribers have lost access to our unrivaled portfolio of networks, including live sports and news as well as children’s, family and general entertainment programs from ABC, ESPN networks, Disney channels. , Freeform, FX Networks and National Geographic Channels. The company added. “We are ready to strike a fair deal with Google as soon as possible to minimize the inconvenience to YouTube TV viewers by restoring our networks. We hope Google will join us in this effort. .

In a blog post, YouTube TV said it would “continue conversations with Disney to advocate on your behalf in the hope of restoring their content to YouTube TV.”

“We have been in good faith negotiations with Disney for several months,” YouTube TV said. “Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to come to a fair deal before our existing agreement expired, and their channels are no longer available on YouTube TV.”

The announcement follows a notice shared with subscribers earlier this week that the channels could disappear from YouTube TV on Friday, December 17 if a deal is not reached between the two companies. If negotiations fail, YouTube TV said it would lower its price by $ 15 per month from its regular price of $ 65 per month to make up for the change.

Earlier this week, a positive resolution to the loss of service seemed likely. On the one hand, the service told subscribers in an email Monday that House of Mouse “is an important partner for us,” adding that it hopes to negotiate a deal with Disney “provided we can come to terms. fair “. But the companies failed to reach a deal because their current deal expired after December 17.

Losing more than a dozen channels doesn’t exactly help YouTube TV stay competitive with other cable internet services like Hulu with Live TV or Fubo TV. Not only are a dozen and more channels removed from the service, but the list of Disney-owned properties that would be removed is long, including not only Disney channels, but FX, ESPN, and National Geographic channels as well.

The full list of channels that left because an agreement was not reached includes the following:

  • Your local ABC channel
  • ABC News Live
  • disney channel
  • Disney junior
  • Disney xd
  • Free form
  • FX
  • FXX
  • FXM
  • National geography
  • National Geographic Wild
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
  • ESPNU
  • ESPNEWS
  • SEC Network
  • ACC Network

Distribution disputes are frustrating and common in our new streaming landscape, and they often take place publicly before a resolution is found – as was the case recently with YouTube TV and channels owned by NBCUniversal. Less frequently, two parties fail to come to an agreement, and it is the consumer who ends up paying the price by seeking a new provider if they want support for their favorite programming.

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