YouTube Reaches Multi-Year Carriage Agreement for CW, MyNetworkTV, More
Have you been missing the latest episodes of “The Flash” or “All American”? That will no longer be a problem for YouTube TV users as the live TV streaming service will now offer 59 local affiliates from Nexstar Media Group as part of a multiyear distribution agreement. This comprises its four independent stations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City, and Baton Rouge, as well as its 29 The CW-affiliated stations and 26 MyNetworkTV affiliates. The deal also extends and renews NewsNation’s carriage on YouTube TV. Additionally, the streamer will continue to carry all of the CBS-affiliated channels owned by Nexstar.
“These agreements with YouTube TV underscore the importance of Nexstar’s national and local content on its platform,” Nexstar’s Chief Operating Officer Tom Carter said. “Not only will Nexstar’s 40 CBS-affiliated stations continue being carried on YouTube TV, but for the first time Nexstar’s 59 CW, MyNetworkTV, and independent stations will be carried on the platform, bringing Nexstar’s CBS, The CW Network, and MyNetworkTV content, as well as local news, weather, sports, and other proprietary and syndicated content to YouTube TV subscribers in local markets across the country. We are also excited to be extending NewsNation’s partnership with YouTube TV at a time when the network is about to expand its weekday news programming to 24-hours a day with the launch of ‘Elizabeth Vargas Reports’ and ‘The Hill.’”
Nextstar acquired 75% of CW affiliates last year, with prior 50/50 partners Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global keeping 12.5% stakes apiece. By changing the network's content mix, the broadcasting giant hopes to turn a profit by 2025. This has meant canceling almost every CW show on the air over the past two years and becoming the exclusive broadcast partner for Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour.
This announcement comes as a number of other live TV streamers have been dealing with carriage issues of late. First, fuboTV was forced to drop 160 CBS affiliates after the affiliate board refused to accept the deal that Paramount Global negotiated on their behalf. Fortunately, last week, reports indicated that a deal to return the channels to the streamer could be coming soon. Last week, Hulu + Live TV removed ABC affiliates owned by Sinclair Media Group over a carriage dispute, despite Hulu and ABC both being owned by Disney.
As the balance between traditional and streaming television continues to be in flux, networks, station groups, and live streamers will need to figure out where the value for each lies and how to arrive at agreements that not only work for both sides but for consumers as well.
YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 60 channels for $72.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 32 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs) in select markets. The service includes an unlimited DVR.
With the recent addition of Viacom channels (BET, MTV, Comedy Central, etc.) to the service, they are only without Hallmark and A+E Networks (Lifetime, History, A&E).
They recently added NFL Network and new Sports Plus add-on which include channels like NFL RedZone for $11 a month.
YouTube TV offers select 4K content, including some live sports and on-demand shows, as part of their 4K Plus add-on. The 4K Plus add-on is $9.99 a month and also includes offline downloads and unlimited streams on your home network.
If you want a cheaper service with many of the entertainment channels on YouTube TV, you can subscribe to Philo which includes A+E, Discovery, Viacom, Hallmark, and other channels for just $20 a month after a 7-Day Free Trial.