YouTube TV and NBCUniversal have reached a new carriage agreement and staved off the removal of 13 channels from what is believed to be the second-largest live TV streaming service in the United States. The resolution was announced a little more than a day after a short-term extension was granted.
Said NBCUniversal in an emailed statement:
We are thrilled to have reached a deal with YouTube TV and can continue to offer our full network portfolio, without interruption. YouTube is a valued partner and we never want to involve our fans in a dispute, but we felt obligated to let them know what was at stake. We thank our viewers for their loyalty and promise to continue bringing them the networks and programs they love.
YouTube TV, for its part, also was “thrilled” in its email to subscribers.
We’re thrilled to share that we’ve reached a deal with NBCUniversal to continue carrying the full NBCUniversal portfolio of channels, including their Regional Sports Networks and your local NBC station. That means you won’t lose access to any of their channels, and YouTube TV will continue to offer 85+ networks for $64.99* per month.
We appreciate NBCUniversal’s willingness to work toward an agreement, and we also appreciate your patience while we negotiated with them on your behalf. Thanks again for being a YouTube TV member.
The two companies weren’t shy in letting customers know that the carriage deal, which gives YouTube TV the rights to carry NBCUniversal channels, was set to expire on September 30. YouTube TV did so with fairly even-keeled blog post, while NBCUniversal ran on-screen crawls in all-capital letters and launched a website imploring YouTube TV customers to inundate customer service with demands that the suits find a way to make a deal and not lose channels. YouTube TV was clear that if no deal was reached and channels were removed, it would lower the price of its service by $10 a month to $55 until the channels returned.
At stake were NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network.
YouTube TV parent company Google reported in October 2020 that the service had more than 3 million customers. It hasn’t updated those numbers since then, nor did it get any more specific as to the number of subscribers. Hulu With Live TV, which reports new subscriber numbers as part of parent company Disney’s quarterly earnings, most recently reported some 3.7 million paid subscribers as of July 3, 2021. Sling TV reported 2.44 million subscribers as of June 30, 2021.