YouTubeTV reinstates ABC, ESPN, ends dispute with Disney

YouTubeTV reached a new agreement with Disney, after the streaming service dropped ABC and ESPN over the weekend.

YouTubeTV had been in a back-and-forth with Disney last week, threatening to stop carrying the channels across its platform, which serves roughly 3 million subscribers. The Google-owned service pulled the Disney-owned channels on Friday night, adding that it would drop its monthly price by $15 to $49.99.

But a last-minute deal Sunday reversed that decision, the companies said.

“We are pleased to announce that after a brief disruption, we have reached a new distribution agreement with Google’s YouTube TV for continued carriage of our portfolio of networks,” Disney said in a statement. “We appreciate Google’s collaboration to reach fair terms that are consistent with the market, and we’re thrilled that our robust lineup of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming is in the process of being restored to YouTube TV subscribers across the country.”

YouTube said it has begun to restore access to live and on-demand content from the Disney-owned networks, which also include FX, Freeform and the National Geographic channels. Access to the eight local ABC-owned stations will also resume “over the course of the day,” YouTube noted on Sunday.

YouTube added that it would still honor the one-time $15 discount for all active members, which would reflect on their next monthly bill.

“We apologize for the disruption and appreciate your patience as we continued to negotiate on your behalf,” YouTube said. “We also value Disney’s partnership and willingness to work towards an agreement.”

YouTube TV logo
The service said it would honor the $15 one-time discount it had announced.

The renewed deal follows a similar dispute between YouTube TV and NBCUniversal this fall. The Comcast-owned NBCU threatened to pull 14 channels from YouTube TV over a similar carriage disagreement. The two parties were able to reach an agreement without disruption to users in October.

Earlier this month, Google also resolved another bitter feud with Roku over making YouTube TV available to users of the streaming-device maker.

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