Update: an agreement has been reached. Find the details here.
While the name YouTube makes most people automatically think of watching videos for free, the Google-owned company also offers a streaming service. YouTube TV is supposed to be a more affordable option than cable, and it features most local channels as well as many other live TV networks.
On December 18, YouTube TV subscribers woke up to an email that stated that ABC, ESPN, and all other Disney-owned networks were no longer part of the service. Here’s the email:
We have held good faith negotiations with Disney for several months. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired.
As of December 17, 2021, end of day Eastern Time, all Disney-owned channels, including ESPN and your local ABC station, are unavailable on YouTube TV. Members will not be able to watch live or local content from Disney and will also lose access to any previous Library recordings from these channels, including 4K content that is available as part of the 4K Plus add-on.
We will be decreasing our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99, for the Base Plan while this content remains off of our platform. No action is needed on your part. A credit of $15 per month will automatically be issued. Once content is unavailable, this credit will be applied to your next bill after December 17 and will only be visible to family managers in Settings > Billing after the charge has taken place. Please note that if you have a promotional price with YouTube TV, you can still expect a $15 credit. Members who are in a paused state will receive this credit one month after their first charge.
Should we come to an agreement with Disney, we will adjust the price accordingly and will notify members via email beforehand. For the full list of Disney-owned channels that are no longer available on YouTube TV and for additional information or updates, please visit this webpage.
We know this is frustrating news, and it is not the outcome we wanted. We will continue conversations with Disney to advocate on your behalf in hopes of restoring their content on YouTube TV.
Thank you for being a YouTube TV member and for your patience and understanding.
The YouTube TV team
Of course, there are two sides to each story. A few days earlier, Disney released a statement that said in part:
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.
With the college bowl season here and Christmas right around the corner, we hope that YouTube TV and Disney can come to an agreement soon. Since YouTube TV does not require a contract, many users are dropping the service to find a new provider.
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