YouTube TV customers will continue to get NBCUniversal’s suite of cable channels and local NBC stations after the media conglom and Google reached a tentative agreement.
According to a source familiar with the talks, Google and NBCU are finalizing their agreement and the NBCU-owned networks will not be going dark on YouTube TV. Their previous agreement was set to expire Sept. 30 at midnight ET, but the parties reached a short-term extension while they continued working to hammer out a long-term deal.
It’s unclear if NBCU’s new deal for YouTube TV will bundle Peacock Premium as part of the internet-TV service, as NBCU was asking.
The contract fight escalated earlier this week, after NBCU on Sunday began warning YouTube TV customers they could lose networks like NBC, USA Network and CNBC over the stalled talks.
Google has claimed that NBCU is asking for higher rates than it charges YouTube TV’s pay-TV competitors. In addition, the internet giant said NBCU, by bundling Peacock Premium with YouTube, that would effectively double-charge customers for the same content (while requiring them to log in separately to Peacock’s apps).
NBCU said that it was seeking “fair rates from Google for YouTube TV’s continued carriage of the only portfolio offering entertainment, Hispanic, news and sports networks.”
NBCU channels that YouTube TV subscribers had been in danger of losing were NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, the Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo and USA Network, as well as NBC Sports regional networks including NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, SNY and NBC Sports Washington.
YouTube TV, available only in the U.S., offers 85-plus channels including local channels for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, costs $64.99 per month. The service last raised its rates in June 2020.