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YouTube TV temporarily loses popular channels – And it could mean a credit on your account

Now you see it, now you don’t. Losing access to your favorite channels isn’t just annoying, it’s seemingly happening more often than ever. That’s because on one side you have carriers and on the other, networks and other content providers — each wanting what it considers a “fair deal.”

If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, any number channels can disappear from your TV guide. And even if a deal is worked out, it can mean you’ll be paying more each month. Tap or click here to see how much more you’ll soon be paying for DirecTV service.

YouTube TV and parent company Google has been in heated negotiations with Disney over contract renewal for most of the year and a few days ago the current deal expired, leading to customers losing ABC, ESPN and other Disney-owned channels. The two sides worked out a new deal in the days that followed, and now you could be eligible to save a little money on this month’s payment.

Here’s the backstory

Cable and satellite providers, along with live TV streaming services regularly negotiate fees for having other content providers’ programming. In the discussions between YouTube TV and Disney, the deadline for reaching an agreement was set for Dec. 17.

Once the contract expired and channels were removed, YouTube TV announced a temporary price reduction from $64.99 to $49.99. But those Disney-owned channels were gone for less than 48 hours when the two sides finally reached a deal.

The $64.99 rate would remain unchanged but in an update, YouTube said that active members would get a one-time credit of $15 to their accounts. Find additional details on that credit by tapping or clicking here. If you decided to cancel your subscription over the fiasco, you can add the Base Plan to your membership before you lose access. If you do that, you’ll qualify for the $15 credit.

Where are the channels?

If you’re having trouble finding channels like ABC, The Disney Channel, ESPN and FX on your live listings in Custom view, it could be the result of a glitch once they were re-added to YouTube TV. Look further down on the live listings to find them, as though they’re brand-new channels.

Here’s how to fix your custom settings:

  • Visit
  • For Custom view, click Edit and open Live Guide Settings
  • Scroll down and add red checkmarks to any channels you want to appear higher up

Looking for an alternative to YouTube TV?

In addition to Disney, YouTube TV has run into problems negotiating with Roku and NBCUniversal this year alone. With plenty of backroom negotiations and public spats, YouTube TV narrowly avoided losing 14 NBCUniversal channels earlier in the fall.

If you’re tired of the hassle with YouTube TV, here are a few suggestions for similar live TV streaming services:

Sling TV


  • Sling Orange and Sling Blue are $35 each (bundle both for $50 per month)
  • Sling Orange has 32 channels, while Sling Blue has 43 channels
  • You can add Showtime (eight channels) for an additional $10 a month, Starz (six channels) for $9, and EPIX (four channels) for $5 a month
  • Available on web browsers, mobile phones, select smart TVs, Xbox gaming console and streaming devices

Hulu Plus Live TV

  • $65 per month with ads, $71 per month with no ads
  • 75 live channels and the entire Hulu streaming library
  • 4K content
  • Available on smart TVs, gaming consoles and streaming devices

DirecTV Stream

  • Starts at $69.99 a month for the DirecTV Stream Entertainment package, up to $139.99 for Premiere
  • 140+ live channels with over 330 video-on-demand channels
  • HBO Max, ShowTime, EPIX and Cinemax is included for the first three months.
  • Have two channels that broadcast in 4K


  • Starter plan costs $65 a month
  • Over 120 TV channels with $80 Elite plan
  • Select channels in 4K resolution

🚨 What it means for you

Years ago, the general consensus was that cutting the cord from traditional cable and satellite service would save consumers from spending more on channels they never watched. Now with new streaming services being added regularly, each with its own exclusive content, those combined bills can far exceed what you were paying before.

✅ Add up what you spend each month on Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and other streaming subscriptions, because you might be surprised. Tap or click here for an easy way to slash your monthly charges.

✅ If you need help figuring out what to watch, these handy sites can help you find the streaming shows you’re looking for. Just remember that even if you only subscribe to services you actually use, there’s a good chance they’ll continue to go up in price so keep an eye on your monthly bills.

Keep reading

How to turn your old TV into a smart TV for under $30

Streaming comparison: Roku vs. Apple TV vs. Fire TV vs. Chromecast

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