ESPN, other Disney-owned channels return to YouTube TV [Updated]

Photo illustration showing the YouTube TV logo on a smartphone.

Update 15:10 AM EST 19/12/2021: Disney’s blackout on YouTube TV lasted less than two days. “We are pleased to announce that, following a brief hiatus, we have entered into a new distribution agreement with Google’s YouTube TV for the continued transfer of our portfolio of networks,” Disney said Sunday afternoon. “We appreciate Google’s collaboration to achieve fair, market-friendly terms, and we’ve excited that our robust selection of live sports and news, as well as children’s, family and general entertainment programs, are being restored to YouTube TV subscribers across the country. “

“We’re pleased to share that we’ve entered into an agreement with Disney to return their content to YouTube TV while maintaining a $ 64.99 / month price for our members,” YouTube said. “We have already begun restoring access to Disney networks such as ESPN and FX, including their live and on-demand content, as well as all recordings previously in your library. We will also turn on your local ABC stations. through the course of the day. ” YouTube said it still provides a $ 15 credit to users.

Original story 11:49 EST 18/12/2021: YouTube TV customers have lost access to all Disney-owned channels including ESPN and ABC as the companies failed to agree on a new contract until the previous one expired last night. YouTube TV customers will automatically receive a discount of $ 15 per month, as long as the Disney channels remain dark, reducing base plan costs from $ 65 to $ 50.

“Members, we worked hard to avoid this, but were unable to reach a fair deal with Disney,” YouTube TV said. “We & # 39; re sorry to share that as of December 17th, all Disney-owned channels will be unavailable on YouTube TV. Even if Disney content stays off our platform, we’ll lower our price by $ 15 / month. to lose channels like ESPN and your local ABC station, and will continue conversations with Disney in hopes of restoring their content for you. “

The list of channels that are no longer on YouTube TV includes all local ABC channels, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, ESPN, ESPN2 , ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network and ACC Network. YouTube TV has published details on how credits will be issued on this web page.

“If you want to continue watching some of Disney’s content, consider signing up for their own service, The Disney Bundle, which they offer for $ 13.99 / month and which is subject to its own terms and conditions,” YouTube TV said. .

YouTube TV sought price guarantee

As we reported a few days ago, the Google-owned YouTube TV was seeking a most-favored-nation (MFN) clause from Disney. “Our request to Disney, as with all our partners, is to treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider – by offering us the same prices that services of the same size pay, across Disney channels, as long as we have them. , “YouTube said TV back then.

YouTube TV nearly lost NBCUniversal channels in another recent dispute. But in that case, YouTube and NBC agreed on a short extension to avoid a blackout when the original contract expired, and then entered into a new multi-year deal.

There was no extension to prevent a blackout in the ongoing YouTube TV / Disney dispute, but both companies said they were still hoping to reach a new deal.

“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Google’s YouTube TV, and unfortunately they have refused to reach a fair agreement with us based on market terms and conditions,” Disney said in a statement sent to news media. 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, the ESPN networks, the Disney channels, Freeform, the FX networks and National Geographic. “We are ready to reach a fair agreement with Google as soon as possible to minimize the inconvenience to YouTube TV viewers by restoring our network. We hope Google will join us in that effort.”

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