YouTube Wins...We Still Lose

YouTube TV Wins...We Still Lose

December 28, 2021

YouTube TV and Disney had a brief contract kerfuffle that left YouTube TV users without access to ABC, ESPN, and Disney for a (thankfully) short amount of time. However, that the two were able to come to an agreement likely means one thing for customers: a 2022 price increase.

Streamer's Spotlight: YouTube TV Struck a Deal. That's Good and Bad News

Earlier this month, YouTube TV and Disney were having quite a bit of difficulty coming to terms on carriage rights for Disney channels. Both were playing hardball, leading YouTube TV to drop Disney channels from its packages. Positively, YouTube TV gave subscribers a temporary service discount, something that's almost unheard of in this industry. But with the deal struck and Disney's networks back, that means YouTube TV and Disney struck a deal that likely favors Disney/

1. What Happened?

On Dec. 18, news outlets began reporting that YouTube TV had pulled Disney's channels from its streaming package. Typically, this occurs when the broadcasting service provider (in this case, YouTube TV) and the rightsholder (Disney), are in the midst of contract renegotiations. At stake in most of these situations is the rightsholder wanting more money, while the service provider may request additional rights to gather and use customer data.

Either way, YouTube TV and Disney were at a standstill, and YouTube TV took the bold but not uncommon step to remove Disney's channels from its package.

2. Agreement Is Made

It only took about one week for Disney's channels to return to YouTube TV. That meant the two companies finalized an agreement. YouTube TV's scorched earth approach likely worked and helped it convince Disney to lower the price it wanted to increase for rates. But more likely than not, YouTube TV didn't get by with a 0% increase.

3. Future Impact on Customers

So, let's assume the likely scenario here. Disney wanted a huge increase in how much it gets per customer. YouTube TV didn't want to fork over that much money, so it said no. Contracts broke down for a bit, YouTube TV pulls the rug on Disney's channels. Disney capitulates, agrees to a lower increase, and the contract is signed.

The question, of course, is how much of an increase did YouTube TV agree to? Whatever it was, it's was small enough to keep the company happy. But after giving subscribers a $15 rebate for one month after Disney's channels were dropped, the company is likely going to boost prices next year by a few dollars. Most price increases are in the $5/month range, so YouTube TV may boost rates to $69.99 per month next year.

So...thanks, Disney.

This Week's Streaming Guide

1. Here Comes 'The Book of Boba Fett'

Disney's next iteration of the 'The Mandalorian tale premieres this Wednesday (Dec. 29) with 'The Book of Boba Fett'. -

  2. Karate Action Returns with 'Cobra Kai' Season 4 

Former enemies team up to fight an even greater menace. Watch 'Cobra Kai' Season 4 this Friday (Dec. 31). -

  3. Netflix Film 'The Lost Daugther' Has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes 

And it's hitting the streaming service this Friday (Dec. 31). -

4. Controversial 'Harry Potter' Special Comes to HBO Max

The 'Harry Potter' cast returns for a special on HBO Max, but without J.K. Rowling. Streaming this Saturday (Jan 1) on HBO Max. -

News and Industry Developments

1. Could Disney Surpass Netflix in 2022?

Netflix is king, but Disney's prowess is growing. Disney might stand a chance if it can diversify its top content. -

2. Here's Why Streaming Services Are Always Duking It Out Over Channels

Interested in knowing how you used Hulu over the year? Make sure to log in --- Hulu has your data. -

3. Prime Video Losing All 5 'Star Trek' Series

ViacomCBS is not renewing any contracts for its Star Trek IP to help boost the value of its Paramount+ service. -

4. Hulu + Live TV Official Dropped Its Free Trial

It's not the first, and it won't be the last as the free trial era slowly comes to an end. -

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