YouTube TV will lose Disney channels on Friday and get a $15 price drop
YouTube has announced that its distribution deal with Disney will expire on Friday, December 17, and the company is yet to reach an “equitable agreement” with the latter to continue distributing its content on YouTube TV. As a result, YouTube TV will lose all Disney-owned channels once the contract expires later this week.
YouTube TV recently shared this news with subscribers over email and even posted an notice on its website. It states:
We welcome a renewed agreement provided we can reach equitable terms with Disney. However, if we are unable to reach a deal by Friday, the Disney-owned channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV starting December 17, and we will decrease our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99 (while Disney content remains off of our platform).
YouTube TV advertises as offering over 85 cable channels at their $64.99 monthly price. Disney owns quite a lot of channels, including 5 ESPN channels, the Disney channel, FX channels, and local ABC network channels. YouTube TV says they are open and willing to work on a new deal with Disney, but their notice implies Disney is attempting to charge more for their channels than they would to equivalent TV provider services.
This isn’t the first time disagreements have cropped up between channel providers and TV services this year. YouTube TV itself had a disagreement with NBC recently that was only resolved earlier this year.
On the bright side, if indeed no deal is made by Friday, YouTube TV will drop the price of subscription plans by $15 per month. That may help ease the pain a little bit, but customers would likely prefer to have their Disney-owned channels back instead.
YouTube TV also suggests that customers who want to watch Disney content subscribe to The Disney Bundle. That’s a subscription provided by Disney directly and offers Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu. The bundle starts at $13.99 per month with ad-supported Hulu. It’s interesting to see YouTube TV direct its own customers to a competing service.
Hopefully, the talks don’t stall for too long, or YouTube TV might see customers leave and flock to the competition. As mentioned earlier, the loss of channels (and price change) are set to take place on Friday, December 17th.