YouTube TV and NBCUniversal have agreed to a short extension. The temporary agreement between the two came a short time before the existing contract was set to expire and the affected channels would have been removed. While this is likely to be good news for YouTube TV subscribers, it is only a reprieve for now.
Earlier in the week it became clear that a dispute between YouTube TV and NBCU was taking place. The news came directly from YouTube with the explanation that the current agreement was due to expire on Thursday, September 30, and that there had been no new agreement reached. If the deadline passed without an agreement, YouTube TV subscribers faced losing multiple channels.
While the deadline has now passed, YouTube TV subscribers are not losing any of the channels in question. However, it remains to be seen whether this is an indication that a deal is in the works or simply a postponement. In a statement to multiple outlets, including Vulture, an NBCUniversal spokesperson confirmed that a short extension between NBCUniversal and YouTube TV had been agreed. The statement went on to confirm that the channels wouldn’t go dark at midnight eastern on Thursday, and that talks between the two continue.
Although the statement makes clear that the channels are remaining available to subscribers while negotiations continue, there was no clear information provided on exactly how long the extension is for. However, the “short” reference in the statement would suggest that a deal still needs to be worked out soon if subscribers are going to remain unaffected.
In YouTube TV’s previous statement, the live TV streaming service explained that one of the sticking points was the cost, with the suggestion NBCU wanted to agree rates that YouTube TV felt were unfair. Due to how the dropping of so many popular channels would impact on the existing channel lineup, YouTube TV confirmed that if the channels were removed, the price of the subscription would be reduced by $10 to $54.99 per month.
For now, existing YouTube TV subscribers can continue to access NBC, NBCSN, Bravo, CNBC, Golf, Syfy, and USA among others, as well as the various regional sports networks that were originally due to be dropped at midnight on Thursday.