YouTube TV subscribers are piping hot mad today after they all lost access to channels including ESPN and FX after YouTube’s agreement to carry programming from Walt Disney Co. expired Saturday.
YouTube TV subscribers lost access to a basketball game in progress between the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves when the game suddenly cut out and fans took to social media to complain about it.
Disney pointed the finger of blame at Google.
“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations with Google’s YouTube TV and unfortunately, they have declined to reach a fair deal with us based on market terms and conditions,” Disney said in a statement to Variety. “As a result, their subscribers have lost access to our unrivaled portfolio of networks including live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming from ABC, the ESPN networks, the Disney channels, Freeform, the FX networks and the National Geographic channels.”
Disney continued, “We stand ready to reach an equitable agreement with Google as quickly as possible in order to minimize the inconvenience to YouTube TV viewers by restoring our networks. We hope Google will join us in that effort.”
The companies are fighting over distribution fees for the Disney channels.
“We’ve held good-faith negotiations with Disney for several months. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired, and their channels are no longer available on YouTube TV,” Google said in a statement. “We will be decreasing our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99, while this content remains off of our platform.”
Google added, “We know this is frustrating news for our customers, and not what we wanted. We will continue conversations with Disney to advocate on your behalf in hopes of restoring their content on YouTube TV.”
It’s the first major blackout for YouTube TV over a carriage-fee dispute in its nearly five-year history.
In response, YouTube TV said it would drop its monthly subscription price to $49.99 from $64.99 as long as the channels are unavailable. Not good enouhg for upset fans.