NBCU Warns YouTube TV Viewers They May Lose Channels in Carriage Fight

Another carriage fight has burst into the public eye: NBCUniversal on Sunday said it was notifying customers with YouTube TV that more than 14 of its networks, including local NBC channels, could go dark on the streaming service in a matter of days.

NBCU’s deal with YouTube TV is set to expire shortly, and Google is unwilling to pay the higher rates the media conglomerate is asking in the renewal talks, according to NBCU. A rep for NBCU declined to say when the existing YouTube TV distribution agreement ends.

“NBCUniversal is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV’s continued carriage of the only portfolio offering entertainment, Hispanic, news and sports networks,” the media company 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. NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands.”

Reps for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NBCU is directing viewers to a newly launched website, youneedchannels.com, which says that if the companies don’t reach an agreement they 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.

In announcing the campaign, NBCU claimed it has “a near perfect record of completing carriage agreements without network drops.” The company also noted that September “marks the beginning of a new primetime broadcast season and the beginning of the NFL football season.”

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