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A day after losing them, YouTube TV gets Disney’s channels back

Published Dec 20th, 2021 10:30AM EST
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Image: Amazon

Early last week, YouTube TV announced that its deal to distribute Disney’s live TV channels was set to expire on December 17th. The two parties were negotiating, but YouTube TV noted that they had not yet reached “an equitable agreement.” The week came and went without any updates, and on Friday, YouTube TV confirmed that it would be losing every Disney-owned channel until it could reach a new agreement. Therefore, over a dozen channels vanished from the live TV service.

YouTube TV’s subscribers lost ESPN, FX, ABC, Disney Channel, and more on Saturday. But on Sunday, less than 48 hours after losing all of Disney’s content, YouTube TV revealed that a new deal had been struck. The service would restore its Disney-owned channels while keeping its subscription price the same at $64.99 a month. By now, most, if not all, of the channels should be available again.

YouTube TV restores Disney-owned channels

We will likely never know exactly what went on behind the scenes. That said, it’s worth noting Disney owns a live TV service of its own in Hulu + Live TV. Were YouTube TV to lose all of Disney’s channels, it is entirely possible that many of its subscribers would switch to Hulu. But YouTube TV couldn’t afford to lose those channels, which is why a deal was all but inevitable.

There’s actually even more good news for YouTube TV subscribers. Last week, YouTube TV said that if it couldn’t strike a deal, it would lower the price of the base plan to $49.99 a month until the channels returned. Despite the fact that the channels are back, the service is keeping its promise:

As we promised a $15 discount while the Disney content remained off platform, we will still honor a one-time credit for all impacted members. For active members who have not yet received that $15 discount on their monthly bill, you will automatically receive a one-time credit on your next bill with no action needed. For members who were impacted and have initiated the cancellation process, we would love to welcome you back. Visit tv.youtube.com/membership and click ‘Add’ to return the Base Plan to your membership. If you resume your membership before you lose access, we will still honor the one-time $15 credit on your bill.

How to find the Disney channels in the guide

Despite the fact that Disney’s channels are back on YouTube TV, some subscribers might not be able to find them in the guide. If you have customized your live guide, there’s a chance that the channels aren’t enabled at all. If you want to see them in your custom guide, you’ll need to head to Settings > Live guide. Hit the checkmarks next to all of the Disney channels. They should now be visible in the live guide as you scroll through.

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

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.