YouTube TV retains NBC, received’t need to bundle Peacock as firms strike new deal

Blackout averted —

Update: YouTube TV and NBC comply with multi-year contract and keep away from blackout.

Jon Brodkin

NBC's peacock-shaped logo on the NBC Tower in Chicago.

Enlarge / NBC’s brand on the NBC Tower in Chicago on March 25, 2011.

Getty Images | Raymond Boyd

Update on October 2 at 1:35 pm ET: YouTube TV and NBC at this time introduced a brand new contract that may let NBC channels stay on YouTube TV. “We’re thrilled to share that we have reached a deal to proceed carrying the complete NBCUniversal portfolio of channels. That means you will not lose entry to any of their channels, and YouTube TV will proceed to supply 85+ networks for $64.99,” YouTube mentioned. NBC confirmed the deal in an announcement to Ars.

YouTube confirmed to Ars that the brand new contract is a multi-year deal however neither firm revealed the precise size. The sides beforehand agreed to a brief extension of the previous contract to keep away from a blackout and have been then capable of finalize a brand new channel-carriage settlement.

The new contract doesn’t require YouTube TV to bundle NBC’s Peacock on-line service, an NBC supply confirmed to Ars. NBC beforehand sought a YouTube TV/Peacock bundle however dropped the demand earlier within the negotiations. The NBC supply mentioned that Peacock was not a “main half” of the negotiations with YouTube TV however that Peacock is “part of the dialog” in all negotiations with companions.

Original story as printed on October 1:

YouTube TV and NBCUniversal are nonetheless at odds in negotiations over a brand new contract that might permit NBC channels to stay on the Google-owned streaming service. The current contract was set to run out at 12 am ET at this time, however the firms agreed to a brief extension that stops a blackout for now.

“NBCUniversal and YouTube TV have agreed to a brief extension whereas events proceed talks. NBCUniversal won’t go darkish on YouTube TV at midnight jap tonight,” NBC mentioned in an announcement offered to Ars final night time.

NBC declined to say how lengthy the extension is, and YouTube TV proprietor Google didn’t remark. About 15 NBC-owned channels and eight regional NBC Sports networks might nonetheless go darkish on YouTube TV if the businesses do not agree on phrases earlier than the extension expires.

NBC’s uncommon Peacock demand

Channel blackouts and contentious carriage negotiations have lengthy been a part of the TV business, although some issues have modified now that on-line streaming companies like YouTube TV compete towards cable and satellite tv for pc. The Comcast-owned NBCUniversal got here up with an uncommon tactic on this spherical of negotiations, demanding that YouTube TV bundle Peacock, NBC’s personal streaming service. NBC has struggled to persuade particular person subscribers to buy the $5 or $10 premium tiers of Peacock, and the corporate is “falling again on their legacy enterprise mannequin of wholesale bundling to drive distribution,” as investor analysis agency LightShed Partners wrote.

Peacock is unlikely to be in a closing contract between NBC and YouTube TV, as we reported Tuesday. An NBC supply who’s conversant in the negotiations informed Ars on the time that NBC’s Peacock demand was “out” of the negotiations—however the supply would not say definitively that NBC would not attempt to put Peacock again on the desk. Google had objected, saying {that a} bundle would drive subscribers to pay twice for a similar programming as a result of Peacock has a lot of the identical content material as NBC channels.

Even if Peacock is out of the combo, the perimeters nonetheless need to agree on an total value and different issues. YouTube TV is looking for a most-favored-nation clause, saying that it desires contractual protections guaranteeing that YouTube TV does not pay extra for NBC channels than equally sized TV suppliers do. Google mentioned it’ll minimize the YouTube TV month-to-month value from $65 to $55 if NBC channels are blacked out and identified that prospects can join Peacock individually.

NBC claimed it’s simply “looking for honest charges from Google” and tried to stress the corporate by establishing a “You Need Channels” web site that warns customers, “YouTube TV might drop your favourite channels.” The NBC web site urges customers to complain to YouTube TV and to contemplate switching to different TV suppliers.

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