On December 17th, over a dozen Disney-owned channels were pulled from YouTube TV due to the companies’ failure to renew a distribution deal. The channels are back now, but YouTube TV is now providing a one-time $15 discount to all customers.
You could call the $15 discount an “apology” for pulling channels like ESPN during the middle of a Lakers game. But really, Google is just honoring a promise. It told customers that YouTube TV would cost $15 less until Disney-owned channels returned to the streaming service—yeah, the channels were only gone for two days, but a promise is a promise.
Your price will revert to $64.99, but all impacted members will still receive a one-time $15 discount. As always, we thank you for your membership and keep a lookout for an email with more details from us.
— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) December 19, 2021
But things aren’t al sunshine and roses. Last week, YouTube TV claimed that Disney demanded a ton of money for its channels, more than it would ask from “any other TV provider.” There’s a decent chance that Google and Disney reached a decent deal here, but there’s also a chance that Google bent to Disney’s will.
If that’s the case, we could get yet another YouTube TV price hike. YouTube TV cost just $49 a month until June of 2020, when it jumped to $65 a month. Like many people, I already have trouble justifying YouTube TV’s $65 a month price tag, which is about what I’d pay for a 120-channel cable plan. Another price increase will make YouTube TV a bad deal compared to cable, at least in terms of channel selection.
So, here’s a quick suggestion; start looking for a backup plan in case you need to bail on YouTube TV. You could buy à la carte channels on Sling TV, for example, or buy the Disney bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for $15 a month.