Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Google vs Disney

Just a few days ago, Google and Roku settled their differences, allowing Google's YouTube TV app to return to the Roku Channel Store and kept the YouTube app available. Now, Google and Disney are in a dispute.

Google sent an email to YouTube TV users this week letting them know that the service could lose Disney's channels if an agreement isn't in place by Friday. Currently, YouTube TV has the following Disney channels:

  • Local ABC affiliate
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app)
  • ESPNU
  • ESPNEWS
  • SEC Network
  • ACC Network
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • FX
  • FXX
  • FXM
  • National Geographic
  • National Geographic Wild
  • Freeform
  • ABC News Live

The email included a link to a Web page set up by Google for the dispute, and a promise to drop the monthly price by $15/month if the channels are removed.

If we are unable to reach a deal by Friday, December 17, 2021, the Disney portfolio of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV starting December 17, and we will decrease our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99 (while this content remains off of our platform). This discount will apply to all Base Plan members billed during the period when Disney content is not available on YouTube TV and will be via a credit or, in select cases, applied directly. No action is needed on your part.

Something similar happened recently with Google and NBCUniversal, when Google promised a $10/month drop if they didn't reach an agreement. They reached an agreement.

Google is also suggesting users subscribe to the Disney Bundle in order to access some Disney channels. Of course, if you are familiar with the Disney Bundle, you know that doesn't begin to make up for the lost channels. However, that's Disney's fault. You can't get the ESPN channels with the Disney Bundle. Yes, ESPN+ is part of that, but ESPN+ is not the same as ESPN, not by a long shot.

Is you're a YouTube TV user, and if you lose Disney channels this weekend, your best option may be to suspend your YouTube TV subscription and use another service. Sling TV is the cheapest, but the lineup may not be enough for you. But, I suspect if they don't reach an agreement, you can deal with the smaller lineup of channels from a cheaper service for the duration.

Personally, I hope they do resolve the issue. I'm not a regular user of YouTube TV, so I won't be impacted, but I do want those that do use the service to have the option. YouTube TV is a good option for a live streaming service. It's not a part of my Streaming Life, but it's worth considering as a part of yours, if they can hammer out an agreement with Disney.

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