Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
- YouTube TV has restored the 18 channels owned by Disney that it dropped late on Friday night.
- The price of YouTube TV has also gone back up to $64.99 a month.
- This change was due to Google and Disney agreeing to a new contract.
Update: December 19, 2021 6:09 pm. ET – It looks like cooler heads have now prevailed at Google and Disney. Google has now updated its YouTube blog stating that it has reached a new agreement that will restore the Disney-owned channels to the YouTube TV live television service. Google says it will still honor the $15 discount it promised for current subscribers to the service, which lowered the price of YouTube TV down to $49.99 a month for a brief time. A one-time credit will be given to those users, and people who started the cancellation process will be welcomed back, and also get a one-time $15 credit on their bill. Obviously, the price of YouTube TV has now gone up again for any new subscribers, to $64.99 a month.
Original story: December 17, 2021, 5:10 pm ET – YouTube TV is now missing some major broadcast and cable TV channels. As predicted earlier this week, Google’s live internet-based TV service no longer offers any of the 18 channels owned by Disney.
The full list of channels that were dropped by YouTube TV includes:
- Local ABC channel
- ABC News Live
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- National Geographic
- National Geographic Wild
- ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
- SEC Network
- ACC Network
In a statement, Google said the company had been in talks with Disney for the past several months to reach a new contract that would have kept the Disney channels with YouTube TV. “Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired,” the company explained. In addition to losing the live TV channels, YouTube TV subscribers can no longer watch any previously recorded content from those channels.
The (sort of) good news is that YouTube TV’s price has now gone down by a lot. Previously priced at $64.99 a month, it will now cost just $49.99 a month. A credit for the current month will automatically be put in place for subscribers.
The timing of this move is bad for YouTube TV subscribers, especially if they are major TV sports fans. Losing access to the many live ESPN channels, along with ABC, means they won’t be able to watch a number of late-season NFL games, along with many college football bowl games, NHL games, and much more. Also, families with young kids may likely be put off by losing Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior.
However, Google does not mention the option to sign up for the Disney-controlled rival Hulu Plus Live TV. It also offers live TV channels and add-ons. Starting Tuesday, December 21, it will raise its prices from $64.99 a month to $69.99 a month but will add both Disney Plus and ESPN Plus at no additional cost.