YouTube TV could lose ESPN, ABC and other Disney channels late Friday


Google’s YouTube TV is a live-channel streaming service. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

YouTube TV and Disney are coming all the way down to the wire on a brand new settlement to maintain Disney’s networks, together with ESPN and ABC, reside on the Google-owned live-TV streaming service. With the contract set to run out late Friday, YouTube TV clients might lose entry to ESPN, native ABC channels, Freeform, FX networks, National Geographic and extra if the 2 sides fail to succeed in a brand new deal.


But if Disney’s channels do go darkish on the service beginning Friday, YouTube TV will low cost its subscriptions by $15 a month, bringing the month-to-month value all the way down to $50, so long as the networks are unavailable, YouTube said in a blog post.

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The back-and-forth is the newest in a string of distribution-deal disputes for YouTube TV, after the service efficiently nailed down recent contract phrases with NBCUniversal in October and Roku earlier this month.

On Tuesday, YouTube additionally famous that clients have another option to entry Disney programming in the event that they lose the 18 affected channels. “We would love each member to stick with our service, however we provide the flexibility to pause or cancel your membership anytime,” the corporate mentioned in its put up, even pointing clients to Disney’s personal $14-a-month streaming bundle. “If you wish to proceed watching a few of Disney’s content material, you may contemplate signing up for their very own service.”


While YouTube errs on the aspect of warning, Disney stays hopeful the 2 sides will attain an amicable settlement earlier than the stroke of midnight on Friday.

Disney mentioned in a press release that it has “a extremely profitable observe document of negotiating such agreements with suppliers of all kinds and sizes throughout the nation and is dedicated to working with Google to succeed in a good, market-based settlement.” The firm added that it is “optimistic” it may attain a deal earlier than the deadline Friday at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

This newest bargaining session follows a extremely publicized carriage dispute between Google and Roku, which led to the latter dropping the YouTube TV app from its units for brand spanking new clients. Both corporations have been engaged in an intense battle that started in April, and they settled their spat final week, someday earlier than Google’s deadline to tug YouTube off Roku. In October, YouTube TV prolonged its contract with NBCUniversal to maintain channels reminiscent of NBC, Bravo, SyFy, E!, Oxygen, USA, Telemundo and CNBC. 

As clients await the end result of this newest streaming distribution battle, they will need to resolve whether or not a value reduce is value dropping Disney content material. Sealing a deal would stop YouTube TV subscribers from being tempted to change to a rival like Hulu, the Disney-owned service that gives a tier with reside channels that straight competes with YouTube TV. 


Hulu, actually, is about to bump up its $65 month-to-month fee by $5 beginning Dec. 21, however with the added bonus of together with entry to streaming companies Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. Though YouTube TV is $65 with Disney, stalled negotiations could make Hulu extra aggressive for some shoppers.  

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