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YouTube TV Will Drop Price If It Drops Disney

YouTube TV
(Image credit: Google)

Google told subscribers of its YouTube TV vMVPD service that it will drop its monthly subscription price by $15 if it has to drop Disney channels from its lineup after the current contract expires Friday, Dec. 17. 

The  two companies are currently in negotiations and both expressed hopes that it would reach an agreement by the deadline by Friday but if not, it would mean the loss of  ABC’s stations, the ESPN networks, the Disney channels, the FX networks, National Geographic channels and Freeform.

YouTube TV considers its conditions reasonable. 

“Our ask of Disney, as with all of 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,” YouTube told its subscribers in an email on Tuesday. “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).”

Disney, meanwhile, expressed confidence that a deal will be struck.

“Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution has a highly successful track record of negotiating such agreements with providers of all types and sizes across the country and is committed to working with Google to reach a fair, market-based agreement,” Disney said in a statement. “We are optimistic that we can reach a deal and continue to provide their YouTube TV customers with our live sporting events and news coverage plus kids, family and general entertainment programming.”

YouTube TV had a similar disagreement with NBCUniversal in September, prompting Google to also offer a discount, however a deal was struck before any channels were dropped. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Technology (www.tvtechnology.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.