If You Have This TV Provider, Prepare to Lose 14 Major Channels Next Week
A dispute between two companies could see a major network's offerings go dark.
The advent of streaming has made it possible to watch what you want when you want from the comfort of your couch. But while binge sessions of newly discovered programs are one of the best perks of ditching a cable box, there are still some services that people rely on to get their fix of live TV or current seasons of their favorite shows. Now, one popular streaming provider has announced that it might lose 14 major channels by next week, thanks to an ongoing dispute with a network. Read on to see what could be cut from your screen soon.
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YouTube TV announced it could lose 14 channels from NBCUniversal by Sept. 30.
On Sept. 26, NBCUniversal announced that YouTube TV users could see 14 of its major channels go dark on the streaming provider as early as next week due to a brewing dispute between the two companies, according to a statement released to Deadline. NBCU's existing deal with the streaming provider is set to expire on Sept. 30, Variety reports.
As part of the announcement, NBCU launched a new website that outlines the sudden changes that would take place if the two companies failed to reach an agreement. It specifies that YouTube TV subscribers would likely lose NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, the Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network in the coming days.
Sports fans who subscribe to the streaming service also stand to lose major channels, with NBC Sports regional networks such as NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, SNY, and NBC Sports Washington potentially going dark, as well. The timing of the dispute could seriously affect viewers, with the network pointing out that September marks "the beginning of the NFL football season."
YouTube TV says it will discount its monthly rate for as long as the channels are lost.
In a blog post on Sept. 26, YouTube TV parent company Google responded that it wouldn't let its subscribers get caught in the crossfire between the feuding companies by offering a hefty discount on its monthly rate should negotiations carry on past Sept. 30. "If NBCU offers us equitable terms, we'll renew our agreement with them. 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)," the company wrote.
Google also pointed out that the discount would cover the $4.99 monthly cost of NBCU's own streaming service, Peacock. This would allow viewers to keep access to popular on-demand shows and live programming such as Sunday Night Football while negotiations played out.
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NBCUniversal accused Google of refusing to make a fair deal for its networks and streaming content.
According to NBCU, negotiations have broken down over how much Google should be paying to carry its wide range of content. "NBCUniversal is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV's continued carriage of the only portfolio offering entertainment, Hispanic, news, and sports networks," an NBCU spokesperson told Variety in a statement.
"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."
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Google has accused NBCUniversal of forcing subscribers to pay twice for its channels and content.
While NBC claims they aren't being fairly compensated for access to their channels, Google responded by saying that the network is demanding that it bundle Peacock as part of its subscription package. According to the internet company, this would mean that some customers would be paying twice for the same access to shows and content while also being forced to download the Peacock app to view them separately from YouTube TV, Variety reports.
"Our ask is that NBCU treats YouTube TV like any other TV provider," Google wrote in the blog post. "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."
The company then added: "NBCU is an important partner for us, and as you can imagine, this is not the outcome that we want. We're still in active conversations with NBCU and are hopeful we can get past this impasse to keep their content available on YouTube TV."
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