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YouTube TV settles its contract dispute with Disney, credits customers $15

·3 min read

Last week, YouTube warned customers they may lose access to Disney-owned channels on its YouTube TV streaming service by the end of the week if the two companies couldn't come to a new carriage agreement. As of Friday, negotiations fell through and YouTube TV alerted customers it would have to drop Disney channels from its service and would lower its pricing for customers. But over the weekend, things turned around. On Sunday, YouTube announced a new agreement had been reached, but it will still offer customers a $15 credit for the disruption.

YouTube updated its blog post where it had been keeping customers informed about its contract dispute to say that it had reached a new agreement that will allow Disney to continue to stream its content on YouTube TV. That means the pricing for YouTube TV customers won't drop down to the lower rate, as had been warranted when it looked like the channels would be removed. Instead, YouTube TV will continue at the usual rate of $64.99 per month.

The new deal will include Disney's networks, like ESPN and FX, as well as Disney's on-demand and live content, as before. Customers with recordings from Disney properties in their YouTube TV Library will also see those restored. And YouTube TV noted that users would see their local ABC stations return to the service by the end of the day on Sunday.

Had an agreement not been reached, YouTube TV customers would have lost access to a large number of streaming channels and on-demand content offerings. In total, 18 Disney-owned channels were impacted, including users' local ABC station, ABC News Live, The Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews, SEC Network and ACC Network.

YouTube had also promised its members a $15 discount while Disney content remained off its platform, as a result of the contractual dispute. Even though Disney's programming had only been removed for a day, YouTube announced on Sunday it will still honor a one-time credit for all impacted members.

Members who haven't already received their $15 discount on their monthly bill will see it applied to their next bill. No action will be needed on members' parts to receive the credit. In addition, if customers had opted to cancel due to the failed negotiations, YouTube says they'll be able to return by visiting the website (tv.youtube.com/membership), then clicking "add" to return the Base plan to their membership. Members who had paused their membership will receive the credit one month after their first charge, the company noted. Members who are in a paused state will receive this credit one month after their first charge. (More details are on a dedicated website.)

Only weeks ago, YouTube had been on the other side of the negotiations table in a contract dispute with Roku over its YouTube and YouTube TV apps. This one was later resolved without either company sharing deals as to how they settled what had been serious allegations on Roku's part about Google's increased demands to use data and anticompetitive behavior.