After announcing to YouTube TV customers that they could be in jeopardy of losing NBC-owned channels due to a carriage dispute, YouTube TV and NBCUniversal agreed to an extension of the deal that was set to expire at midnight on Thursday. As that short extension is coming to an end, the two companies are working toward finalizing a deal, a source close to the negotiation tells Cord Cutters News.
We first reported on the dispute on Sunday, when NBCUniversal sent the following statement: “NBCUniversal is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV’s continued carriage of the only portfolio offering entertainment, Hispanic, news and sports networks. Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news and sports programming from their paying customers. NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands.”
Had the deal not gone through, subscribers would have lost access to the following channels: NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network, as well as NBC Sports Regional Networks.
YouTube TV posted a response on the YouTube blog, saying that if the channels were removed, they would lower the price of the streaming service by $10/month “while this content remains off our platform.” In that post, YouTube TV let subscribers know they always have the option to pause their subscription and come back later, saying, “While we would love every member to continue to stay with our service, we understand that you may still choose to pause or cancel your membership. We want to make YouTube TV flexible, so members can pause or cancel anytime. We will give you updates as negotiations continue.”
YouTube TV then emailed subscribers, recommending that they use that $10 to subscribe to Peacock Premium for $4.99/month to continue watching NBC content. The email did not sound optimistic about a deal being reached before the deadline, giving subscribers a hint that they should look elsewhere if they wanted to continue to have access to all 14 channels that would be dropped if a deal could not be reached.