YouTube TV subscribers lose access to ESPN, other Disney-owned channels
Subscribers to YouTube TV lost access to Disney-owned channels, including ESPN, at midnight Eastern time Saturday after the two sides failed to reach agreement on a new contract.
The blackout comes as ESPN is preparing to televise 39 college bowl games between Saturday and the national championship game on Jan. 11. Those are on top of its regular slate of NBA and college basketball games, as well as “Monday Night Football” and other programming.
Other Disney networks pulled from Google-owned YouTube include ESPN2, ESPN3, ABC, SEC Network, ACC Network, the Disney channels, the FX networks and National Geographic.
Both sides issued statements, putting the blame on the other.
“We’ve held good-faith negotiations with Disney for several months. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired, and their channels are no longer available on YouTube TV,” Google said in a statement, adding it was decreasing the monthly subscription price by $15 because of the loss of programming.
“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Google’s YouTube TV and unfortunately, they have declined to reach a fair deal with us based on market terms and conditions,” Disney said in a statement released to Variety. “As a result, their subscribers have lost access to our unrivaled portfolio of networks.”
Disney continued: “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 will join us in that effort.”
YouTube TV is estimated to have more than 4 million subscribers, Variety reported.
–Field Level Media