YouTube TV subscribers could be in for a world of hurt if the company can’t come to a new agreement with Disney over the channels it owns, YouTube has warned in a blog post. The issue has arisen because it’s time for Disney and YouTube to renew their contract, which sees YouTube TV pay Disney for the rights to offer its channels to subscribers, thus making a YouTube TV subscription more attractive to customers.
The problem for YouTube TV is that its current deal with Disney ends this Friday, December 17th, and the two companies have not managed to agree to a new deal – in other words, Disney doesn’t think YouTube is paying it enough for its content.
In a statement (per The Hollywood Reporter), Disney said, “Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution has a highly successful track record of negotiating such agreements with providers of all types and sizes across the country and is 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.”
But if that optimism is unfounded, YouTube TV subscribers will be the ones feeling the pain. They’ll lose access to these 18 channels on Friday, according to the YouTube blog post:
- Their local ABC channel
- ABC News Live
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- National Geographic
- National Geographic Wild
- ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
- SEC Network
- ACC Network
In the same blog post, YouTube announced that if it does lose Disney’s channels, it will reduce the monthly subscription price of YouTube TV from $64.99 to $49.99.
So how will this all play out? YouTube TV previously got into a similar dispute with NBC Universal in September. But as The Verge reported, by early October the two giants reached an agreement to keep the channels on YouTube TV’s service.