Google and Disney have reached an agreement allowing a wide selection of Disney channels -- including ESPN and ABC -- to return to YouTube TV, following a contract expiration that led the streaming giant to remove them from the service.
The removal of the channels resulted in YouTube temporarily dropping the price of a YouTube TV subscription by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99 per month. The price has returned to the full amount after the two companies agreed to a new contract.
As reported by The Verge, several Disney-owned channels, including ESPN, National Geographic, and FX are now watchable on YouTube TV once again after being temporarily removed. A Google blog post confirms that the company will "honor a one-time credit for all impacted members" in regards to the monthly subscription price temporarily dropping to $49.99.
"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," a Disney spokesperson told The Verge.
"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."
It's crisis averted, then, for users who frequently watched Disney-owned channels on YouTube TV. And if you're concerned about your monthly bill shooting back up to $64.99, YouTube has confirmed that the one-time $49.99 discount will automatically be applied to the next bill of all paying subscribers. A small Christmas treat from Google, we suppose.
It's been a rocky month for streaming services overall, and Google wasn't the only company scrambling to renew deals and regain market traction. Roku also had a rough run-in with Google earlier in the month, as the tech giant was set to remove the YouTube app from the Roku Channel Store.
Thankfully, both parties were able to reach a last-minute agreement that returned YouTube TV and the YouTube app to Roku devices, but the platform is having ongoing issues with an update that stopped the Netflix and Disney Plus apps from working as intended.
Still, we're happy that YouTube TV has all its Disney faculties in place just in time for Christmas. We're sure that plenty of the best streaming devices, like the Fire TV Cube, will see liberal use over the festive period, and having their access to YouTube TV's Disney content secured will likely be a relief to many.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.