ABC, ESPN, FX returning to YouTube TV after Disney, Alphabet strike deal in carriage fee dispute
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Disney-owned channels including ABC, ESPN, FX and National Geographic are returning to YouTube TV after the House of Mouse resolved a carriage fee dispute with the pay-TV service's parent company Alphabet.
"We're happy to announce that we've reached a deal with Disney and have already started to restore access to channels like EPSN and FX, and Disney recordings that were previously in your Library," YouTube TV tweeted Sunday. "Your local ABC station will also be turning on throughout the day."
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The restoration comes after the two parties failed to establish a deal by Friday at 11:59 p.m., resulting in a temporary blackout of the content over the weekend. Financial terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
"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," Disney said in a statement.
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In an effort to accommodate impacted customers, YouTube TV previously announced it would lower its subscription price by $15 per month to $49.99 while it worked to resolve the dispute. Following the resolution, the service said in an update that its subscription prices would revert to $69.99, but that impacted customers will receive a one-time $15 discount.
"For active members who have not yet received that $15 discount on their monthly bill, you will automatically receive a one-time credit on your next bill with no action needed," YouTube TV added. "For members who were impacted and have initiated the cancellation process, we would love to welcome you back."
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Alphabet's latest settlement comes after it reached a multi-year agreement with Roku earlier this month. The two companies had an intense, highly publicized dispute that resulted in the removal of the YouTube TV App from Roku's channel store in April.
During negotiations, Roku expressed concern that Google was engaging in anti-competitive conduct by allegedly interfering with its independent search results by demanding preference to YouTube TV over other content providers. It also alleged that Google was discriminating against the platform by demanding search, voice, and data features that they did not request from other streaming platforms.
The agreement came a day before Alphabet planned to pull the regular YouTube app from Roku's platform. Roku called the deal with Alphabet "a positive development for our shared customers" and its stock soared approximately 20% following the announcement.
YouTube TV has surpassed 3 million subscribers as of Alphabet's third quarter in 2020.
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