ABC, ESPN Return to YouTube TV After Weekend Blackout Due to Carriage Dispute

ABC, ESPN Return to YouTube TV After Weekend Blackout Due to Carriage Dispute

BY J. CLARA CHAN | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren for CNT #Entertainment  #Business

YouTube TV will honor its previously announced $15 discount to existing users for one month, even though access to Disney-owned channels will resume on Sunday.

After a brief blackout that began on Friday night, ABC, ESPN and several other Disney-owned channels will return to YouTube TV after the Google-owned company and Disney reached a carriage agreement on Sunday afternoon.

“We are pleased to announce that after a brief disruption, we have reached a new distribution agreement with Google’s YouTube TV for continued carriage of our portfolio of networks,” Disney said in a statement. “We appreciate Google’s collaboration to reach fair terms that are consistent with the market, and we’re thrilled that our robust lineup of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming is in the process of being restored to YouTube TV subscribers across the country.”

In a separate statement, YouTube said it had begun to restore access to live and on-demand content from the Disney-owned networks, which also include FX, Freeform and the National Geographic channels. Access to the eight local ABC stations will also resume “over the course of the day,” according to YouTube.

On Friday night, Disney and YouTube informed subscribers that Disney would be pulling 25 channels from YouTube’s TV streaming platform after the two parties failed to reach an agreement before their contract lapsed. At the time, YouTube dropped the price of its subscription by $15 from $64.99 to $49.99 as a result of the lost channels. But with Sunday’s agreement, YouTube said it would still honor the one-time $15 discount for all active members, which would reflect on their next monthly bill.

“We apologize for the disruption and appreciate your patience as we continued to negotiate on your behalf,” YouTube said. “We also value Disney’s partnership and willingness to work towards an agreement.”

The renewed contract follows a similar dispute between YouTube TV and NBCUniversal in September and October, when NBCU threatened to pull 14 channels from YouTube TV over a similar carriage disagreement. The two parties were able to reach an agreement without disruption to users.

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By Troy Warren

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