NBCUniversal and YouTube TV Agree to Short-Term Deal Extension, Averting a Blackout for Now

NBCUniversal’s cable and broadcast networks are still live on YouTube TV, after the media company and Google reached a short-term extension to their previous distribution agreement just prior to the Sept. 30 midnight ET expiration.

“NBCUniversal and YouTube TV have agreed to a short extension while parties continue talks,” an NBCU spokesman said in a statement late Thursday. “NBCUniversal will not go dark on YouTube TV at midnight eastern tonight.”

The contract fight erupted earlier this week, after NBCU warned YouTube TV customers they could lose 14 or more channels — including NBC local stations, Bravo, CNBC and USA Network and regional sports networks — over the impasse.

Google, for its part, has claimed claims that NBCU is asking for higher rates than YouTube TV’s pay-TV competitors pay. Moreover, the internet giant says, NBCU is unfairly asking that YouTube TV bundle in Peacock Premium with the service, currently $64.99/month, which would effectively double-charge customers for the same content (while requiring users to log in separately to Peacock’s apps).

“NBCUniversal is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV’s continued carriage of the only portfolio offering entertainment, Hispanic, news and sports networks,” NBCU previously said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news and sports programming from their paying customers.”

Google said that if it can’t reach a deal with NBCU it will reduce YouTube TV’s monthly subscription fee by $10 to $54.99/month for the period of the time that NBCU nets are dark. According to Google, it is asking that “NBCU treats YouTube TV like any other TV provider.”

“In other words, for the duration of our agreement, YouTube TV seeks the same rates that services of a similar size get from NBCU so we can continue offering YouTube TV to members at a competitive and fair price,” Google said in a statement.

NBCU launched website, youneedchannels.com, which says that if the companies don’t reach an agreement YouTube TV subscribers might lose NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, the Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo and USA Network. In addition, YouTube TV may also drop 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.

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