NBCU and YouTube TV Near Agreement: Sources

YouTube TV
(Image credit: Google)

Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Google’s YouTube TV are close to reaching a new distribution deal, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

Their previous deal, covering NBCU’s TV stations, affiliates and cable networks expired Thursday. Both sides agreed to an extension while talks continued. 

Financial terms of the new agreement could not be determined. 

On Sunday NBCU began warning viewers that if they subscribed to YouTube TV, they could lose access to NBCU programming. NBCU claimed Google was refusing to make a deal at fair rates.

YouTube TV countered saying that NBCU was unwilling to treat YouTube TV like other TV providers. That was interpreted as meaning that NBCU was refusing to grant YouTube TV the kind of most-favored nation clause common in cable distribution deals. The MFN means that if NBCU grants lower rates to another distributor, YouTube TV would be entitled to that rate as well.

YouTube TV said that in the event of a blackout it would cut its rate by $10 per month for as long as the NBCU channels were unavailable.

There were also reports that NBCU was insisting that YouTube TV carry Peacock, Comcast’s streaming service. Subsequent reports said that demand was withdrawn.

According to recent analyst reports, YouTube TV is the largest of the streaming virtual multichannel video distributors with more than 4 million subscribers nationwide.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.