Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Google vs NBCUniversal II

Things are heating up. Shots fired. Shots returned. Google vs NBCUniversal is getting interesting.

News came out recently that Google, who owns YouTube TV, and NBCUniversal, who owns a bunch of TV networks, are approaching end of contract, and they can't come to terms, at least just yet.

If NBCUniversal gets its way, Google will pay more for content on YouTube TV. If Google gets its way, things will remain pretty much the way it is. If neither gets their way, the channels will drop from YouTube TV. But now there's a twist.

Google announced on their YouTube TV blog that if NBCUniversal channels leave the platform, they'll drop the price $10:

... if we are unable to reach a deal by Thursday, the NBCU lineup of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $10, from $64.99 to $54.99 (while this content remains off our platform). You can sign up for NBC’s own direct-to-consumer streaming service, Peacock, which they offer for $4.99/month to continue watching NBCU content, such as Sunday Night Football.

So, it looks like Google isn't giving in. It also looks like people like me bay be the winner. You see, I'm a Comcast/Xfinity Internet customer. I get Peacock TV included with my Internet service. So, if I decide to subscribe to YouTube TV -- I'm looking at a live streaming service for sports for the next month -- the new lower price of YouTube TV, if that happens, will mean I'll have to consider it.

Except for the Pac-12 Network, YouTube TV carries everything that would let me watch anything airing nationally. Only Fubo Elite, at $80/month, when added to ESPN+, gets me that. If YouTube TV drops to $55/month, that makes the choices threefold:

  • $87 for Fubo Elite and ESPN+, giving me all national channels that carry games.
  • $72 for Sling Orange+Blue with Sports Extra, along with ESPN+, giving me all the channels except CBS Sports Network.
  • $62 for YouTube TV and ESPN+, giving me all the channels except Pac-12 Network.

So it comes down to getting everything, or getting everything but one channel, with two options for which one channel is missing.

Pac-12 Network has three games this weekend, none involving ranked teams. CBS Sports Network has give games, two involving ranked team. So, if I were to choose to miss a network, this weekend, I'd pass on Pac-12 Network, which means the cheapest of the three under consideration. And that's YouTube TV.

But what about later weekends? I don't know. Week 6 has five CBS Sports Network games, but the Pac-12 games for that weekend haven't been determined. Even so, I haven't wanted to watch a game that was carried on Pac-12 this season so far. That could change, of course. I have wanted to watch a game that was on CBS Sports Network, but something in real life interfered and I wasn't able to anyway.

The safe play is Fubo Elite. But that's $80! That's $25 more than a discounted YouTube TV!

I'll probably just do the Sling Orange thing, then add the Sports Extra when there's a game there I want to watch, and add Blue when there's a game there I want to watch. Come kickoff, I'll make a decision about the next five weekends of my Streaming Life.

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