YouTube TV loses Disney owned TV channels then gets them back

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When YouTube TV was first introduced, many people were excited about the service, especially for its US$35 price. That was back in 2017, and the service had a fair number of channels but has since grown to add many more. With the channel growth came the price increases, and many opted to cancel the service, including us.

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The new offerings included many Disney-owned channels, and YouTube TV had to sign a deal with Disney for the privilege of broadcasting those channels. But deals aren’t always set in stone, and Disney decided to pull its channels from YouTube TV last week.

This made many users pretty angry, and YouTube TV responded by apologizing and knocking US$15 off the monthly price of its services. To be fair, it’s not the fault of either company; these things happen, and agreeing on a price is always tricky.

Google has failed to strike a deal that would allow it to continue offering YouTube TV subscribers access to Disney’s channels. The tech giant warned customers a few days ago that Disney channels, including ABC, ESPN and FX, might disappear before midnight of December 17th if they can’t come to terms with carriage fees. Back then, it was optimistic that it could get the outcome it wanted. But now, Google has told customers that the companies were unable to reach an agreement before their existing one expired despite holding negotiations for several months.

YouTube-TV-networks YouTube TV loses Disney owned TV channels then gets them back
These were the channels offered on YouTube TV when it started in 2017.

But not all is lost. The two companies agreed over the weekend, and Disney will allow YouTube TV to carry its channels once again.

YouTube TV’s battle with Disney is over almost as soon as it began. The two have struck a deal that restores access to ESPN, FX and other Disney channels on YouTube’s streaming service. Local ABC stations will come back over the course of the day (December 19th), but you may already see access to any recordings of Disney-owned channels.

The base subscription rate is returning to $65 per month, but YouTube TV promised that “all impacted members” would still receive a one-off $15 discount. More details would be coming through email, the service said.


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