In the latest high-profile carriage dispute, NBCUniversal is warning YouTube TV subscribers that they may lose access to more than 14 NBC networks -- including Telemundo stations that it owns and local NBC channels -- on September 30.
That’s the expiration date for the current carriage agreement.
NBCU asserts that YouTube owner Google is unwilling to pay the higher but fair rates it is asking for renewal rights.
“Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news and sports programming from their paying customers,” NBCU said in a statement. "NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands.”
In a blog post responding to NBCU’s warning, Google charged that NBCU is not offering its rates in line with those it charges other TV services of similar size, and also said that if an agreement cannot be reached by September 30, it will reduce its subscriber fee by $10 per month to adjust for the lack of access to the NBC content.
For the duration of its agreement with NBCU, “YouTube TV seeks the same rates that services of a similar size get from NBCU, so we can continue offering YouTube TV to members at a competitive and fair price,” Google said in the post. "If we are unable to reach a deal by Thursday, the NBCU lineup of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $10, from $64.99 to $54.99 (while this content remains off our platform)."
Google also noted to its subscribers that they have the option of paying $4.99 per month to pay for NBCU’s Peacock streaming service “to continue watching NBCU content, such as Sunday Night Football.”
Why ANY of the Big Four networks (and many ad-supported "cable" service), especially NBC-U, thinks they can command an increase as they migrate content to their SVOD services is beyond me.
Steve, one might also ask why is anyone subscribing to YouTube TV if the networks are establishing themselves in the streaming business. The answer is that some people still want to watch old fashioned TV and as program costs for all kinds of content---traditional" or otherwise---- keep rising those who like the old fashioned stuff will also have to pay more.