NBCUniversal and YouTube TV have agreed to a short extension while parties continue talks. NBCUniversal will not go dark on YouTube TV at midnight eastern tonight.NBC Spokesperson
Are you sick of these Youtube TV content partner disputes yet? I know I sure am. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the equation and will remain so as long as a service exists that tries to pull together many different corporations, their offerings, and their nuances. In discussion with ArsTechnica, Google confirms that NBC is attempting to strong-arm Youtube TV into bundling its failing streaming service – Peacock – in with the search giant’s subscription model.
Don’t worry – early discussions have near fallen apart as Peacock has lost nearly $400 million to date due to its poor reception and retention of its own users. Furthermore, a failure to accept these schoolyard bully tactics would result in NBC pulling all of its popular channels from Youtube TV. Subscribers would no longer have access to the likes of the following networks. Peacock may be failing, but its content library is widely accepted in the traditional cable market. By midnight tomorrow, Thursday, September 30, 2021, we’ll know whether or not Youtube TV users will be losing:
- Golf Channel
- The Olympic Channel
- Universal Kids
- USA Network
- and Regional sports networks in the Bay Area, Northern California, Boston, Chicago, Philidelphia, New York, Northwest US, and Washington, DC.
The weirdest part of all of this, though, is that NBC wants Google to eat the cost on the bundle deal, and on top of that, Youtube TV subscribers would still be forced to open the Peacock app – a separate installation – in order to view the additional content. Previous partnerships – successful, and healthy ones – have seen companies work with Google to make their content available directly in the Youtube TV app instead as not to inconvenience paying users.
At the time of writing this, Peacock has withdrawn this demand from negotiations with Google, likely due to a report on all of this mess that was published by LightShed. I’d be embarrassed too if I were NBC. Still, if the company does go through with its threats, Youtube TV subscribers would get $10 knocked off of their monthly bill as a result of the lost channels. Whether or not you feel that’s enough, it’s still something. Google has been pretty transparent about its battles with expiring content agreements and the struggles it’s had with renegotiations. A few days ago, it published a blog post detailing all of this and made its request known publicly:
Our ask is that NBCU treats YouTube TV like any other TV provider. In other words, for the duration of our agreement, 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.Youtube Blog
I don’t feel like that’s too much to ask. However, because it’s Google we’re talking about, it has some of the most influential marketing pull, and everyone wants to take advantage of that, especially failing streaming services owned by well-established, shady conglomerates. We’ll keep you up to date on what happens tomorrow, but my bet is that NBC will leave its channels on the service – better to lose a few feathers than to walk out into the road, right?