YouTube TV users have lost 18 Disney-owned channels after Google and Disney failed to work out a new distribution deal. The current deal expired on Friday, reports The Streamable. While Google will lower the price of YouTube TV by $15 in an effort to keep customers happy, they will still have lost the following channels: ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, ACC Network and likely their local ABC affiliates.
"We've been in ongoing negotiations with Google's YouTube TV and unfortunately, they have declined to reach a fair deal with us based on market terms and conditions," Disney claimed in a statement to The Streamable. "As a result, their subscribers have lost access to our unrivaled portfolio of networks including live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming from ABC, the ESPN networks, the Disney channels, Freeform, the FX networks and the National Geographic channels. We stand ready to reach an equitable agreement with Google as quickly as possible in order to minimize the inconvenience to YouTube TV viewers by restoring our networks. We hope Google will join us in that effort."
Disney fans can still stream Disney content through the company's own streaming platforms, Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. Hulu has its own live Internet TV platform, Hulu With Live TV. YouTube TV and Hulu With Live TV have an estimated 4 million subscribers each, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
On Monday, YouTube TV told subscribers the distribution deal with Disney is set to end on Friday. "Disney is an important partner for us," Google's statement read. "We are in active conversations with them and are working hard to keep their content on YouTube TV. 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 no deal is reached by Friday, the price of YouTube TV will drop from $64.99 per month to $49.99 per month so long as YouTube TV doesn't have Disney's channels.
Disney also released a statement on Monday afternoon, noting it is "committed to working with Google to reach a fair, market-based agreement." The company added, "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."
Disputes like these are becoming increasingly common between Internet TV platforms and content providers, mirroring content providers' disputes with traditional cable and satellite companies. In September, YouTube TV had a dispute with NBCUniversal. The two sides eventually reached a new deal before their old one expired to avoid a blackout.