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NBCUniversal and YouTube TV have agreed to a “short extension” that will keep more than 14 NBCU channels on the platform as the two companies have been engaged in heated contract negotiations, a spokesperson for NBCU said on Thursday evening.
The NBCU–YouTube TV deal was originally set to expire on Thursday at midnight, which would have resulted in channels like NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo and the USA Network, as well as local sports networks, being dropped from the Google-owned TV platform.
Over the weekend, NBCU launched a campaign urging its viewers to pressure YouTube to keep its deal with NBCU; in announcing the campaign, NBCU said it was seeking “fair rates” from Google.
But according to YouTube, NBCU has not been willing to offer contractual protections to ensure that YouTube does not pay more than other services of a similar size for access to NBC’s channels. YouTube has also taken issue with NBC asking that Peacock be bundled with YouTube TV, which would require subscribers to download and use the Peacock app separately and result in higher subscription costs for the same content.
In a blog post published Sunday, YouTube said it would lower its monthly price from $64.99 to $54.99 on Thursday, when the agreement was expected to expire, if it could not reach a deal with NBCU by then.
“NBCU is an important partner for us and as you can imagine, this is not the outcome that we want,” the blog post said. “We’re still in active conversations with NBCU and are hopeful we can get past this impasse to keep their content available on YouTube TV.”
Oct. 1, 11 a.m. PT: Updated with news of the extension.
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