It appears that YouTube TV’s battle with Disney is over already. The two have come to an arrangement that restores access to ESPN, FX and other Disney channels on YouTube’s streaming service. Local ABC stations will also come back.
That means that the base subscription rate is returning to $65 a month, but YouTube TV promised that “all impacted members” would still receive a one-time $15 discount. More details should be coming through email.
You may remember that Disney channels vanished on December 18th after the media giant and YouTube TV failed to reach an agreement on fees. As with most disputes like this, each side blamed the other. Disney claimed YouTube TV “declined to reach a fair deal,” while YouTube maintained that it was advocating on “behalf” of viewers.
This isn’t YouTube TV’s only disagreement over carriage deals. The service had problems with NBCUniversal and Sinclair. However, this fight may have been one of Disney’s most important. ESPN is a big get for live sports fans. It looks like YouTube may have decided that any increased costs (and possible rate hikes) were less painful than losing viewership. Viewership is everything for streaming services. Without daily viewers these companies really have nothing.
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