YouTube TV has warned viewers that channels including ABC, ESPN, FX and others may disappear by 11:59 PM on December 17th if it can’t come to terms with Disney over carriage fees. If that happens, YouTube TV will lower its price by $15 (from $65 to $50) while Disney content remains off the service.
“Disney is an important partner for us. We are in active conversations with them and are working hard to keep their content on YouTube TV,” it said in a press release. “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. If Disney offers us equitable terms, we’ll renew our agreement with them.”
The Google-owned platform said that it’s “optimistic” it can reach a deal with Disney and that it has a “highly successful track record of negotiating such agreements with providers.” That said, YouTube TV has also seen some failed negotiations, such as when it disappeared off new Roku devices in April 2021 before finally returning in December.
Google came to terms with Roku just before the main YouTube app disappeared, so there’s some hope that it can reach a deal with Disney ahead of the December 17 deadline. Just in case, though, YouTube TV said that users might want to sign up for the $14 Disney Bundle to keep access to ABC and other channels.
YouTube TV launched only recently in April of 2017, but with four million subscribers, it’s become one of the top cord-cutting services along with Disney’s Hulu, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the parties can’t come to terms, some 25 channels could disappear.