UPDATED: It’s happened. YouTube TV no longer has Disney channels and the price has dropped to $49.99 per month. —Paul
YouTube TV alerted its customers last night that they might lose access to Disney-owned channels. If so, it will reduce the price of the service.
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“We are now in negotiations with Disney to continue distributing their content on YouTube TV,” an email I received from YouTube TV reads. “Our deal will expire on Friday, December 17, 2021. We have not yet been able to reach an equitable agreement, so we want to give you a heads-up so that you can understand your choices.”
Here are the choices.
If YouTube TV does lose access to Disney’s channels—which includes ABC, ESPN, the Disney Channel, and many others—Google will reduce the monthly price of its service by $15, $64.99 to $49.99. This change will remain in effect while Disney content remains off of YouTube TV.
In an interesting twist, Google recommends that those who can’t live without Disney’s channels could subscribe to The Disney Bundle, which Disney offers for $13.99 per month. This bundle includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+. This isn’t a direct replacement for all of Disney’s channels, but it would give YouTube TV subscribers access to at least some of that content.
“Disney is an important partner for us and we’re in active conversations with them and working hard to keep their content on YouTube TV,” Google explains. “Our ask to Disney, as with all our partners, is to treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider—by offering us the same rates that services of a similar size pay, across Disney’s channels for as long as we carry them. If Disney offers us equitable terms, we’ll renew our agreement with them. However, if we are unable to reach a deal by Friday, the Disney-owned channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV.”
Google found itself in a similar bind with Roku, which almost lost access to YouTube and YouTube TV this past week.