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If you have YouTube TV you may soon lose 18 channels including ESPN

Updated Jan 10th, 2023 9:32AM EST
Image: Amazon

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A few months ago, YouTube TV was struggling to reach a deal with NBC to keep its channels on the live TV service. The two parties eventually worked out their differences, and all of the NBCUniversal channels remained. Unfortunately for YouTube TV subscribers, there is now even more drama. This Monday, YouTube TV announced that it is now in the process of negotiating a new deal with Disney over its content. The current deal between Disney and YouTube TV expires Friday, December 17th. Providing they can’t make ends meet, YouTube TV will lose over a dozen channels.

YouTube TV might lose Disney channels

YouTube TV sent an email to subscribers on Monday regarding the ongoing negotiations with Disney. The language is similar to what we saw when YouTube TV was working out the kinks with NBC. Once again, the live TV service claims that it can’t reach an “equitable deal” with a content provider:

Disney is an important partner for us. We are in active conversations with them and are working hard to keep their content on YouTube TV. Our ask of Disney, as with all of our partners, is to treat YouTube TV like any other TV provider – by offering us the same rates that services of a similar size pay, across Disney’s channels for as long as we carry them.

YouTube TV has a plan in place if the talks go south. If the two parties can’t find common ground by December 17th, YouTube TV will lose every Disney-owned channel and lower its monthly price from $64.99 to $49.99. This will be the new price for YouTube TV until the channels return.

YouTube TV explains that the discount will apply to all Base Plan members billed when Disney content is unavailable. It will either come as a credit or be applied directly. If you are a YouTube TV subscriber, you don’t have to do anything to get the discount. It will happen automatically.

Here are all of the channels YouTube TV will lose if it can’t make a deal with Disney:

  • Your local ABC channel, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (by authentication to the ESPN app), ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, ACC Network

What should you do now?

In the meantime, if you still want access to Disney content, YouTube TV recommends that you sign up for The Disney Bundle. The bundle costs $13.99 a month and includes access to Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus. You’ll still be without many of the live channels listed above. And YouTube TV failed to note that Hulu + Live TV and many of the other live TV services do feature those channels.

As a YouTube TV subscriber myself, I’m beginning to lose patience with the service. On one hand, it’s better that we know about these talks before the channels suddenly vanish from the service. On the other hand, being dragged into these carrier battles multiple times a year is exhausting. Am I going to be able to watch college sports on YouTube TV this weekend or not?

Jacob Siegal
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.