A couple of days after their original agreement expired, Google and Disney finally reached a new deal that would allow the former to distribute the latter’s channels on YouTube TV. This means they’ll be able to restore the Disney channels that went dark last December 17, including ESPN, FX, and ABC local stations, when the contract officially ended. They will also be returning the base subscription rate to $65 per month but affected users will be able to receive a one-time $15 discount.
It seemed like a long time ago but it was only last week when Google announced that they were still unable to reach a deal with Disney regarding channel carriage fees. YouTube said that they were still advocating on behalf of their viewers while Disney said that YouTube “declined to reach a fair deal”. Basically, each was not-so-subtly blaming each other for failing to reach a deal that would distribute all Disney-owned channels to YouTube TV subscribers.
The loser of course ended up being the viewers who lost more than 17 channels on December 17 when the distribution agreement officially ended. Fortunately, the two giants were finally able to hash out a new deal to return Disney content to YouTube TV. They have started to restore access to those channels that were previously removed and that includes both their live and on-demand content. Recordings that were previously in your library are also being restored.
This also means that the base subscription will return to $65 per month. But those who were affected, meaning those whose Disney channels went dark the past couple of days, will still get a one-time $15 credit on their next bill. Users don’t need to do anything as it will be automatically credited to them. Those who’ve already started the cancellation process can go back by clocking “Add” on the Base Plan. Those who resume before they lose access will still get the one-time $15 credit.
This isn’t the first time of course that Google had to struggle to get carriage and distribution deals. They have previously publicly fought with companies like Amazon, Roku, NBCUniversal, etc. At the end of the day, it’s the users that are affected by these things so it’s a good thing they were able to fix things with Disney.