Update (October 2, 2021): Both YouTube TV and NBC have reached an agreement, which means the latter’s 14+ channels will stay put at the Google-owned streaming service. Thus, there will be no price drop from $64.99 to 54.99 on YouTube TV, either.
It’s past 30th September midnight ET, and YouTube TV is still hosting NBCUniversal channels on its streaming service. But this is not because NBCU and Google have reached a tentative agreement. The two parties have stalled the blackout of NBCU channels on YouTube TV, for now, to give themselves more time to resolve the disputes and avoid a public outroar. Here are the updates for the standoff between YouTube TV and NBCUniversal.
Is NBC staying on YouTube TV?
YouTube TV carries several NBC Universal channels on its streaming service, but their contract was set to expire on 30th September 2021. In normal circumstances, such contracts are redrawn and accepted well before the expiration date so that users don’t have to go through any disruption in services. But the two parties locked horns over trying to get a better deal this time around, and it seemed as though the talks had broken down completely.
However, that hasn’t been the case just yet. The NBCU channels didn’t go dark after midnight, much to the relief of YouTube TV subscribers who want their daily fix of NBC TV shows, news, and regional sports.
YouTube TV and NBCU prevent a blackout (for now)
YouTube TV and NBCU reached a short-term extension towards the tail end of their previous distribution contract that was set to expire on 30th September ET. Late on Thursday, an NBCU spokesperson announced that “NBCUniversal and YouTube TV have agreed to a short extension while parties continue to talk. NBCUniversal will not go dark on YouTube TV at midnight eastern tonight.”
The NBCU spokesperson also mentioned that NBCUniversal had asked YouTube TV if it could bundle Peacock as a part of the deal, but that would only mean users would have to pay twice the price for the same amount.
Currently, there are no details on how ‘short’ (or long) this carrier extension will be, but there is hope in knowing that the two parties are actively communicating to reach some sort of an agreement.
Earlier, the two media giants had taken it to the public to disclose the reasons that led to the souring of their relationship. Both YouTube TV and NBCU are looking to get “fair prices” for the distribution of the services, but neither is able so far to cajole the other into accepting their demands.
Could YouTube still drop NBCU Channels?
Although there has been a short-term extension of the previous channel distribution contract, there is still a high possibility that NBCU and YouTube TV may fall out of favor with each other.
If this happens, YouTube TV subscribers may actually see their NBCU channels blacked out. These include:
- Golf Channel
- The Olympic Channel
- Universal Kids
- USA Network
YouTube could also lose NBC Sports Regional Networks, which includes the following:
- NBC Sports Bay Area
- NBC Sports Boston
- NBC Sports California
- NBC Sports Chicago
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- NBC Sports Washington
The day these channels are dropped, YouTube TV will automatically slash its monthly subscription prices by $10. If this does end up happening, YouTube TV subscribers will have to look towards Peacock, Hulu, or FuboTV for their daily NBC fix.
However, exactly when (or if) that happens is anybody’s guess for now. Nevertheless, the fact that the two parties have resumed negotiations and are actively looking to renew their contract is good news, even though one shouldn’t be too hopeful just yet.
If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, you don’t have to start looking at alternatives just yet, but you may want to take the opportunity to research the available alternatives and decide whether you want to make the switch or not. We hope that doesn’t end up being the case. Stay tuned to get all the news and updates about the situation as it develops.