There’s nothing fun for TV viewers stuck in the middle of a carriage dispute, particularly when the two sides blow past the deadline and networks start going dark. But YouTube TV users who briefly lost access to Disney channels over the weekend will get a welcome stocking stuffer for their trouble.
Google had previously announced that it would give YouTube TV users a $15 discount on their usual $65 monthly subscription rates if it failed to reach an agreement with Disney by the midnight Friday deadline, and while the Disney blackout lasted only a little more than a day, Google said it would stick by its promise.
Specifically, Google will give “impacted” YouTube TV users a one-time $15 discount on their next bill. And if you already initiated the cancellation process following the blackout, you can still get the $15 discount so long as you reactivate your account before you lose access; just visit the YouTube TV membership settings page and click “Add” to re-enable the Base Plan.
The discount takes some of the sting out of the brief Disney blackout, which saw YouTube TV users briefly lose access to ABC affiliates, ESPN channels, Disney networks and other Disney-owned properties.
Google raised the alarm about its spat with Disney last week, and when the two sides failed to reach an agreement by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, YouTube TV users lost access to ESPN, FX, their local ABC stations, and other Disney-owned channels. As Variety noted, the blackout was YouTube TV’s first since the service launched back in 2017.
Luckily, the blackout didn’t last for long, and by 3 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, Google announced that it had struck a deal with Disney and spun up its Disney-owned channels again, including any saved recordings.
Neither Google nor Disney disclosed the details of their agreement, but it’s notable that YouTube TV’s $64.99 subscription price will remain unchanged following the deal.
YouTube TV users have had to endure a couple other standoffs in the past few months. Just a couple of weeks ago, Google and Roku struck a last-minute deal to keep the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on Roku’s streaming devices.
And back in October, YouTube TV almost lost NBC stations in a dispute with NBCUniversal. In that dustup, however, the two sides reached an agreement before any channels went dark.