UPDATE: YouTube TV and NBCUniversal have reached an agreement, and YouTube TV will continue to offer 85+ networks for $64.99. You can read YouTube TV’s full update here.
If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, you may see major changes to your service by the beginning of October.
The live TV streaming giant is reaching the final hour of negotiations with NBCUniversal for keeping many of its core networks available on YouTube TV.
If they can’t reach a deal by the end of September, YouTube TV has promised to lower its monthly billing rate for all customers.
Here’s what we know so far.
These NBCUniversal Channels Could Soon Leave YouTube TV
If YouTube TV and NBCUniversal cannot reach an agreement to extend their relationship beyond the existing contract that expires on Sept. 30, 2021, the following channels may no longer be available on YouTube TV:
- Golf Channel
- NBC Sports Network
- NBC News
- Universal Kids
YouTube TV may also drop NBC Sports Regional Networks. This would include NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, SNY and NBC Sports Washington.
YouTube TV Has Promised To Reduce Pricing If NBCUniversal Channels Go Away
If YouTube TV subscribers lose access to the NBCUniversal collection of networks, YouTube TV promised on Monday that it would lower its monthly subscription fee.
The regular price for YouTube TV, which currently sits at $64.99 per month, would be reduced to $54.99 without the NBCUniversal channels.
Not only did YouTube TV offer to lower its price, but it also directed subscribers who are interested in continuing to access NBCUniversal content to consider pairing a $4.99 Peacock subscription with their service.
“If NBCU offers us equitable terms, we’ll renew our agreement with them,” the YouTube TV blog post said. “However, if we are unable to reach a deal by Thursday, the NBCU lineup of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $10, from $64.99 to $54.99 (while this content remains off our platform). You can sign up for NBC’s own direct-to-consumer streaming service, Peacock, which they offer for $4.99/month to continue watching NBCU content, such as Sunday Night Football.”
YouTube TV and NBCUniversal Are Talking About This Publicly
Given that this disagreement over a new contract has spilled into the final week of the existing deal, both parties are aggressively making public statements in an attempt to gain leverage and keep the consumers on “their side” of the dispute.
Over the weekend, NBCUniversal began running messaging on their networks that warned YouTube TV customers that they could soon lose out on the channels.
And NBC Entertainment social media accounts began running similar messaging campaigns on its social medial accounts, which leads users to a website called YouNeedChannels.com that offers NBC’s perspective on the negotiations, gives subscribers a way to contact YouTube TV to protest and gives streamers options to find NBCUniversal networks on other services.
NBCUniversal also issued the following statement, per a report from Variety.
“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.”
But YouTube TV isn’t just standing by idly while NBCUniversal tries to make it out as the bad guy. In a blog post released on Monday morning, YouTube TV painted a much different picture to its subscribers.
“Our ask is that NBCU treats YouTube TV like any other TV provider,” the YouTube TV blog post said. “In other words, for the duration of our agreement, YouTube TV seeks the same rates that services of a similar size get from NBCU so we can continue offering YouTube TV to members at a competitive and fair price.”
Those of you who have followed the ongoing dispute between YouTube TV and Roku may see some similarities in the arguments on display for the world to see.
What This Could Mean for Streamers Moving Forward
We’d love to give YouTube TV subscribers an actionable move to make right away, but it seems like they probably should be in a holding pattern for the next few days while this negotiation process works itself out.
If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber who is genuinely worried about losing access to one or more NBCUniversal channels, you may want to start doing some research on your options.
By early October, YouTube TV subscribers may be forced to choose between staying with the service and taking a price reduction or switching streaming services to regain access to NBCUniversal’s family of networks.
Team Clark is here to help you make an informed decision on your next streaming service if you decide to leave YouTube TV.
By using our channel search tool, you can plug in the channels that mean the most to you to find a streaming service that offers all of them.
And you can also compare the pricing on those streaming services. We list the cheapest option that has the most channels you want first.
Team Clark’s Streaming TV Channel Search Tool
Note: You can enter multiple channels into this tool to get the best results.
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