Disney-Owned Networks Removed From YouTube TV

ABC, ESPN, and the other networks of the Walt Disney Company family are no longer available on YouTube TV, resulting in a $15.00 price decrease for the provider, according to Variety.

UPDATE 12/19/21:

  • A Tweet from the official YouTube TV Account has revealed that Disney and the provider have reached a deal, and that the Disney-owned networks are being restored to the YouTube TV service, with Local ABC networks set to arrive later in the day.
  • Previously unavailable recordings and saved media from the Disney-Owned networks will once again be available in viewer’s libraries.
  • As such, the previously announced price reduction has been reverted to the original $64.99 amount.

What’s Happening:

  • Due to a failure to reach an agreement by last night’s Midnight ET deadline, Disney networks like ESPN, ABC, Freeform, and even FX, are no longer available on Youtube TV.
  • YouTube TV has also reduced the price of the service from $64.99 to $49.99 now that the Disney Networks are no longer available.
  • This marks the first major blackout of networks due to a carriage dispute since YouTube TV launched five years ago. The previous deal with Disney allowed YouTube TV to carry the Disney Channels, Freeform, FX Networks, Freeform, ESPN networks, National Geographic, and ABC, and expired on December 17th at 11:59 PM ET.
  • Reportedly, the dispute has largely revolved around money, with Google claiming that Disney had demanded higher fees for its TV networks than “services of a similar size pay. YouTube also noted that customers could sign up for the Disney Bundle ($13.99/month) for access to Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu on-demand with ads.
  • Almost immediately after the deadline last night, YouTube TV pulled all the networks from the channel lineups on the service.
  • The Disney-owned channels that have gone dark on YouTube TV include:
    • Local ABC channels
    • ABC News Live
    • Disney Channel
    • Disney Junior
    • Disney XD
    • Freeform
    • FX
    • FXX
    • FXM
    • National Geographic
    • National Geographic Wild
    • ESPN
    • ESPN2
    • ESPN3 (via the ESPN app)
    • ESPNU
    • ESPNews
    • SEC Network
    • ACC Network
  • In addition, YouTube TV subscribers have lost access to any previous DVR recordings from the Disney channels.
  • Recently, a similar situation almost occurred when talks between Google and NBC Universal were taking place, but a resolution was met when a new carriage agreement for that company’s various networks was agreed upon.

What They’re Saying:

  • Statement from Google: “We’ve held good-faith negotiations with Disney for several months. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired, and their channels are no longer available on YouTube TV. We will be decreasing our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99, while this content remains off of our platform. We know this is frustrating news for our customers, and not what we wanted. We will continue conversations with Disney to advocate on your behalf in hopes of restoring their content on YouTube TV.” Current YouTube TV members will see the $15 credit applied to their next bill after Dec. 17.”

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