As it turns it out, all YouTube and Disney needed was one more day (plus a few hours) to come together and be friends once more. For YouTube TV subscribers, this means you are back to paying $US64.99 ($91) per month for the service, which now includes the 17 Disney-owned channels and local ABC News stations that briefly disappeared from the platform.
After failing to reach a new carriage deal on Friday, the day the old deal expired, and fuelling a barrage of media coverage, YouTube and Disney announced that they reached a new deal on Sunday. YouTube said it had already started to restore access to Disney-owned networks like ESPN and FX and was reinstating subscriber recordings from the networks to their libraries. Subscribers’ personal preferences and recommendations were not affected by the disruption, YouTube said, and remain as they were on Friday.
In addition, YouTube announced that it would be honouring the $US15 ($21) one-time discount it announced for base plan subscribers when they lost access to Disney-owned networks, even if it was just for a little more than a day. Subscribers will automatically receive a $US15 ($21) credit on their next bill and do not need to take any action.
Interestingly, YouTube said it will offer the $US15 ($21) discount to subscribers that have taken steps to cancel their YouTube TV subscription as long as they resume their membership before they lose access.
Neither provided many details on the new agreement, although it would seem by the wording in the statements that it was YouTube who caved. That would make sense, considering that it was facing losing a what might have been a considerable number of subscribers looking to watch juggernauts like ESPN and FX.
The fight, as you can probably imagine, was about money. YouTube wanted Disney to “treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider” and offer it the same rates that services of a similar size pay. Disney, meanwhile, wanted to reach a “fair, market-based agreement.”
Disney told Gizmodo in a statement on Sunday that it appreciated “Google’s [which owns YouTube] collaboration to reach fair terms that are consistent with the market.”
“We appreciate Google’s collaboration to reach fair terms that are consistent with the market, and we’re thrilled that our robust lineup of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming is in the process of being restored to YouTube TV subscribers across the country,” Disney said.
YouTube, which addressed the news about the new deal in a blog post, made no mention about the terms of the deal. Notably, its statement did not mention an “equitable agreement,” a phrase it had repeatedly emphasised in its previous communications on the matter to the public and subscribers.
“We apologise for the disruption and appreciate your patience as we continued to negotiate on your behalf,” YouTube said. “We also value Disney’s partnership and willingness to work towards an agreement.”
YouTube notes that some subscribers might have trouble finding Disney content in their customised live guides. In this case, YouTube advises affected users to search and add their favourite Disney channels back to the guide. Not all local ABC News stations are back up yet, although YouTube says it’s working on it and that they should be accessible soon.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether YouTube or Disney got the better deal, the clear winners here are YouTube TV subscribers. They only lost their Disney content for one day, got a $US15 ($21) discount, and don’t have to go shopping around for another streaming service that has the content they want.
The 17 Disney-owned channels, minus the local ABC stations, that are now back on YouTube TV are listed below.