NBCUniversal and YouTube TV reach transport deal, avoid blackout – deadline
UPDATED with the NBCUniversal statement. NBCUniversal and YouTube TV have renewed their distribution agreement, avoiding a potential outage. In a statement, NBCU said it did not want to “involve our fans” in a horse-drawn carriage battle, but felt “obligated” to warn them of the impending stalemate last week.
“We are delighted to have entered into an agreement with YouTube TV and can continue to offer our full portfolio of networks, without interruption,” said a spokesperson for NBCU. “YouTube is a valued partner and we never want to get our fans involved in a dispute, but we felt obligated to let them know what was at stake. We thank our viewers for their loyalty and promise to continue bringing the networks to them. and the programs they like.
NBCUniversal and YouTube TV struck a distribution deal a day after the previous one expired, allowing 14 NBCU networks to avoid sinking.
The companies were at odds in recent days over a number of networks, including six regional sports channels, the broadcast mother ship and local stations. On Thursday night, they agreed to a short extension to try and strike a deal.
A sticking point in the negotiations had been the integration of the NBCU Peacock streaming service into the YouTube interface. YouTube had refused to comply with this request due to concerns about user experience and the idea of encouraging customers to potentially pay twice for some of the same content.
YouTube TV, which has heavily promoted its Internet TV package for four years, claimed to have surpassed 3 million subscribers at the end of 2020. This makes it No. 2 in the streaming TV package after Disney’s Hulu + Live TV. Like others in the Internet pay-TV industry, YouTube has had to increase its prices as programming costs rise. Despite this, its user experience, functionality, lack of contractual obligation, and somewhat more modest cost structure compared to traditional cable or satellite television continue to appeal to many customers.
The lineup at this time of year includes a number of significant audience draws, at least on print, including live sports and prime-time premieres. NFL Sunday Night Football this week on NBC, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will visit the New England Patriots when Brady returns to Foxboro, MA, where he served as the Patriots quarterback for 20 years. The show was the best prime-time audience for years, but this Sunday’s game could over-index even by the usual high standards of the time slot.