YouTube TV, NBC Universal debacle seems harbinger

Monitor Hall A Weekly column Dedicated to everything happening in Wired The world of culture, from movies to memes, from TV to Twitter.

If you are a YouTube TV user and like it Sunday night football, You have been wondering for the last few days whether you will be able to stream the game this weekend.

If you’re not the type of person who follows business negotiations between multinational corporations (why would you? I just follow them because it’s literally my job), here’s a primer: It was revealed earlier this week that the deal was aired on YouTube TV NBCUniversal- NBC, Telemundo, MSNBC, Golf, etc. had to offer 14 ++ channels – it was supposed to end on Thursday. The conversation was at a standstill, and if the companies could not reach an agreement, all those NBCU channels would disappear from the YouTube TV stream. NBCU, it seems, wanted to merge its own streaming service Peacock with YouTube parent company Google YouTube TV. The streaming service, meanwhile, “wants the same rate to get services of the same size from NBCU so that we can continue to offer YouTube TV to members at a fair price,” according to a blog post. On Thursday, the companies agreed on a “brief” expansion to keep NBCU channels on YouTube TV.

Despite the results of this dusting, it was an apprehension of the fact that navigating streaming wars doesn’t really feel different than navigating the cable. Or, as our colleagues at Ars Technica put it, “the debate is a reminder that the emergence of streaming services simply cannot eliminate the usual bundling practices of satellite TV.” Streaming was supposed to help users cut the cord; More and more, it just seems out of place to replace the rope.

Yes, we have already mentioned some versions of WIRED. Earlier this year, I argued that as media companies merged, consumers would eventually end up with another Big Three – one that would eventually lose territory to CBS, ABC and NBC over Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney +. This still seems fairly possible. But the new battlefield centers on a carrier that has opened YouTube TV and NBCU Freaks. Streaming had the full promise that content providers could be live-to-consumer. Do you want everything from Disney? Disney + Drink. Love nature shows and home makeovers? Discovery + Drink. But now there are so many services that visitors and companies are desperate to find a way to bundle them, in the language of the industry – something that may seem like Deja Vu that someone has ever tried to make a difficult decision between the basics or the premium cable package.

Take Hulu, for example. This service has been a type of streaming game for some time. But people forget that it started as an effort of parent companies like NBC, ABC and Fox to offer these channels on a service like Netflix. It was a way to get into the streaming action of legacy networks. In 2019, after Disney Fox closed its 71 71 billion acquisition, it acquired control of Hulu in a separate arrangement with NBC Universal’s parent company Comcast. Now, customers can get Hulu in a bundle with Disney + and ESPN +, since, of course, ESPN is also a Disney property. Hulu now has FX, which gives Hulu customers access to lots of premium Fox content. A Disney Channel, ESPN, and FX? If it just doesn’t seem to be one of the cable packages, it does nothing.

Things get hairy here though. As part of Disney’s agreement to control Hulu, Comcast agreed to continue licensing NBC Universal content to Hulu until 2024, but NBCU retained the right to withdraw some of its programming that was exclusively licensed to Hulu. With the introduction of Peacock last year, it is reasonable that NBCU would eventually demand much of its programming on that service in order to strengthen its appeal to consumers.

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