YouTube TV subscribers might lose NBCUniversal channels if the two sides cannot reach a new carriage deal by Thursday. On Sunday, YouTube TV announced a unique offer if the Google-owned platform does not reach a deal, noting that it will cut the monthly cost of the service by $10 for each month NBCUniversal channels are unavailable. The NBCU family of channels includes NBC, MSNBC, E! Network, and USA Network.
Last week, NBCU announced it was seeking a new deal with YouTube TV, and warned its 3 million subscribers they could lose all its networks if there is no agreement. "NBCUniversal is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV's continued carriage of the only portfolio offering entertainment, Hispanic, news and sports networks," the company said in a statement, reports Deadline.
"Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news, and sports programming from their paying customers. NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands."
NBC also launched YouNeedChannels.com, which encourages YouTube TV subscribers to tweet a message to the platform's Twitter page demanding it does not lose NBCU channels. The site also lists the NBCU channels subscribers could lose, including USA, Golf NEtwork, NBC, Bravo, MSNBC, Telemundo, NBC Sports Net, and E! Network.
On Sunday, YouTube TV responded to NBCU with a blog post, confirming the two sides need to reach an agreement by Thursday, Sept. 30. If the two sides do not reach a deal by then, YouTube TV subscribers will pay $54.99 per month instead of $64.99 for as long as NBCU networks are unavailable. This is likely an attempt by Google to make sure subscribers stick with the service, even without NBCU.
"While we would love every member to continue to stay with our service, we understand that you may still choose to pause or cancel your membership. We want to make YouTube TV flexible, so members can pause or cancel anytime. We will give you updates as negotiations continue," Google's blog post reads. "NBCU is an important partner for us and as you can imagine, this is not the outcome that we want. We're still in active conversations with NBCU and are hopeful we can get past this impasse to keep their content available on YouTube TV."
The situation between NBCU and YouTube TV is very similar to the carriage disputes traditional cable and satellite companies have with networks. One of the big issues with streaming television platforms though is that Google and Disney, which has Hulu + Live TV, have to keep the cost of their services even lower than cable since consumers are used to a lower cost. The costs for streaming Internet platforms are already on the rise, inching ever closer to the costs of traditional pay-TV services. For example, Hulu + Live TV costs $64.99 per month, while Hulu without ads plus Live TV costs $70.99 per month.