After a public standoff earlier this week, which saw NBCUniversal putting ads on TV, as well as on Twitter about YouTube TV dropping its channels, the two have come together for a short extension. It’s not a full deal, or a contract renewal, just an extension. It’s unclear however, how long this extension might last.
This is great news for those that watch NBCUniversal networks, as they were set to leave YouTube TV at midnight Eastern last night.
If this extension had not been reached, YouTube TV would have lost roughly 15 channels: NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and the USA Network. There are also a group of regional sports networks that would have left as well.
Why is this happening?
Apparently, NBCUniversal is trying to strong-arm YouTube TV into adding Peacock into its bundle. This doesn’t make a lot of sense for customers, since the majority of Peacock content is already on YouTube TV. And adding Peacock to its bundle would raise prices even further for YouTube TV, which has already almost doubled in price in the past few years.
YouTube TV isn’t just standing up for its customers, but also for the industry. If YouTube TV allowed NBCUniversal to force them to bundle Peacock with its channels, it could happen with other companies too, especially smaller ones. Like Sling TV, FuboTV, AT&T DIRECTV Stream and others, once their carriage contracts expire.
Though this could have been the latest blow to YouTube TV. After losing regional sports networks thanks to Sinclair not wanting to renew its contract with YouTube TV and other services. It also lost its app on the Roku platform, due to Roku wanting “unfair requirements”, according to YouTube TV. If it does lose these NBCUniversal channels, we could see YouTube TV losing millions of customers. As that would be roughly a fifth of its channels disappearing.