Even though we're in an era when there are more TV viewing options than ever before (and they continue to grow all of the time), that hasn't always meant that it's been the easiest to jump on the bandwagon of the newest streaming service in town or to simply get your fill of basic cable or network television while cutting the cable cord. NBCUniversal is now in a battle with YouTube TV over carrying several NBCU networks, like USA, but the streamer has had an unexpected response to the dispute: they're planning to cut prices if a deal can't be reached.
YouTube TV offering to cut prices is a truly surprising response to the announcement that 14 of the NBCU networks (including six regional sports networks, NBC proper, and cable networks like E!, USA, and MSNBC) could go dark on the service if an agreement isn't reached by this Thursday. In a blog post (via Deadline) YouTube TV noted that prices would go from $64.99 to $54.99 per month if subscribers suddenly found themselves without access to NBCU channels once the deadline for a deal passed.
We've seen streamers and potential carriers get into disputes before, leading those who want to subscribe not knowing what the best way is to get the service they want so they can watch the newest and best content. It also, frequently, leads to the streamer / content provider and carrier speaking out against each other, but promising subscribers that they'll actually cut prices once YouTube TV (possibly) becomes light on a lot of content is a move that we almost never see. With regard to the negotiations with NBCUniversal, the streaming carrier said:
Right now, YouTube TV has over 3 million subscribers, so that is a lot of people who could find themselves without access to NFL games, and new episodes of series like Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime, New Amsterdam, and the ever popular One Chicago lineup of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. While the service only started in 2017, it's already one of the leading internet-delivered television deals among consumers, but it's seen several such disputes like the one with NBCU in that time. Several other regional sports networks, for instance, have already left YouTube TV.
Of course, the original appeal to services like YouTube TV was as a cost-cutting measure over traditional cable television packages. But, because agreements for streaming service bundles haven't yet become reliably profitable in ways companies can predict, it's meant that setting thorough channel lineups for the long haul has steadily led to price increases, which are beginning to rival the costs of cable. Those at YouTube TV are, obviously, aware of this, and are surely hoping that cutting prices by $10 a month if they lose NBCUniversal stations will be enough to keep their subscribers on board.
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