YouTube TV, the multi-channel, live streaming service, last night lost 17 Disney-owned channels due to a fight over carriage fees. The list of affected channels includes ESPN, FX, Freeform, National Geographic, the Disney Channel and eight Disney-owned ABC stations, among others.
The previous agreement expired last night at 11:59 p.m. ET. The two companies announced early this morning that they were unable to reach a new pact.
“We’ve held good faith negotiations with Disney for several months. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired,” YouTube TV said in a blog post at its site.
“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 (YouTube TV’s owner) will join us in that effort,” Disney said in its statement.
As promised earlier in the week, YouTube TV cut its monthly price from $64.99 to $49.99 and said it would stay that price for the duration of the blackout.
However, despite the lower price, YouTube TV could face difficulty avoiding widespread defections with the college football bowl season underway. ESPN has the broadcast rights to roughly three dozen bowl games, including seven today.
The good news is that the ESPN+ app, which costs $7 a month, will show some Monday Night Football games including Monday’s Bears-Vikings matchup. (ESPN+ offers partial programming from the ESPN channels, not the complete lineups.)
Still, hundreds of YouTube TV subscribers have already posted their frustration about losing Disney and ESPN on social media sites.
“There’s way too many options out there and that lil $15 doesn’t really matter. Lose Disney, lose me (and thousands more). Make the deal…be humble,” tweeted Rpscott02 on Twitter.
“Just terrible news! Make alternate plans if you want to watch Sports, The Dawgs (Georgia) play in the Orange Bowl! Channels already pulled!” wrote @KeithPitts1964 at 4:56 a.m. ET today.
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— Phillip Swann