Well, it happened. ESPN and all Disney networks are off YouTube TV. At least for now.
Yesterday, Google sent a notice to subscribers telling them that negotiations with Disney had not resolved the issue, and the channels were no longer on the service. As a result, the price for the service will drop, at least while the channels are not in the lineup.
We will be decreasing our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99, for the Base Plan while this content remains off of our platform. No action is needed on your part. A credit of $15 per month will automatically be issued. Once the content is unavailable, this credit will be applied to your next bill after December 17 and will only be visible to family managers in Settings > Billing after the charge has taken place. Please note that if you have a promotional price with YouTube TV, you can still expect a $15 credit. Members who are in a paused state will receive this credit one month after their first charge. Should we come to an agreement with Disney, we will adjust the price accordingly and will notify members via email beforehand.
The credit will be on the next bill, but I fully expect some people to bitch, moan, and complain that they haven't seen a credit, even though their next bill hasn't dropped. That's because people don't read. Or don't think.
Oh, I'm not talking about you and me. We're fine. But you know the people. I'm almost scared to read the support forums and pages. But I will. And I'll just be shaking my head.
Now, if you were expecting to see bowl games on YouTube TV, you're going to be disappointed. You'll need another service for this. You do have some options.
You could suspend your YouTube TV service for a month, essentially halting the billing, then pick it back up when the dispute is settled. In the meantime, you could subscribe to another service that carries ESPN. The cheapest is Sling TV (Orange), at $35. The service doesn't have as many channels as YouTube TV, but it does have ESPN. If you can get buy though the football season with the reduced channel lineup, and a single stream -- Sling Orange, the package with ESPN, only allows one stream -- and if you don't need local channels, or if you do have an antenna, then Sling TV (Orange) may be a good temporary solution. Heck, you may find it suits your needs and it may be a replacement for YouTube TV
In the meantime, the dispute continues, and we don't know how long it will last. Google can withstand it. So can Disney.
And who are we rooting for in this dispute? Personally, I don't have a dog in the fight. But I do want to see it resolved, so I'm rooting for a resolution. But who should win? I really haven't researched it. I suspect Google is who I'm for, though. I think. Google talks about a "fair price" on their Webpage, and if this is to be believed -- I don't dispute it, by the way -- then they're trying to keep their costs down. If the costs go up, so will your price. That's how things work.
If they can settle this dispute, and keep the prices down, this will be a good thing for you Streaming Life. Let's hope this is how it works out.