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Photo illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Disney on Sunday said it finally struck a distribution deal with Google, a day after its channels went dark on YouTube TV.

Why it matters: The blackout, if prolonged, would've resulted in one of the most disruptive on YouTube TV ever.

  • The disruption came ahead of the kickoff to college football bowl season. Disney's ESPN has the rights to air many of those games.
  • Google launched YouTube TV in 2017 as a digital alternative to cable. In that time, it has only blacked out a few regional sports networks and came close to a blackout with NBCUniversal but resolved the issue shortly before a blackout would've occurred.

What they're saying: "We appreciate Google’s collaboration to reach fair terms that are consistent with the market, and we’re thrilled that our robust lineup of live sports and news plus kids, family and general entertainment programming is in the process of being restored to YouTube TV subscribers across the country," Disney said in a statement.

  • "We're happy to announce that we've reached a deal with Disney and have already started to restore access to channels like ESPN and FX, and Disney recordings that were previously in your Library," YouTube said in a statement. "Your local ABC station will also be turning on throughout the day."
  • YouTube also noted that the price for its digital package would revert back to $64.99. YouTube said Saturday following the initial blackout that if a deal wasn't reached, it would decrease its monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99, while Disney's content remained blacked out. YouTube said all impacted members will still receive a one-time $15 discount.

Catch up quick: Disney first warned customers on Monday that its contract with YouTube TV would expire on Friday at midnight. At the time, it said it was "optimistic" that the two parties could reach a deal.

  • YouTube also issued a warning, calling Disney "an important partner" and affirming that it was in "active conversations" with Disney to reach a deal.

Be smart: Disney distributed 18 channels on YouTube TV across ABC Owned Television Stations, ESPN networks, Disney channels, Freeform, FX networks and National Geographic.

  • Its sports programming was by far the most important content it distributed on YouTube TV, because most people buy live TV packages for sports.
  • Sports fans took to Twitter to express frustration with the blackouts, with some suggesting they may switch digital live TV providers.

The big picture: These types of carriage disputes have become more common in the streaming era, mimicking the cable TV blackouts that predated them.

  • Roku and Google finally settled a messy distribution fight last week after YouTube TV was removed from Roku's store for five months.

Go deeper: TV battles spill into streaming

Go deeper

Jan 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

Baby Shark becomes first YouTube video to hit 10 billion views

Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Baby Shark

“Baby Shark,” the viral children’s nursery rhyme that has inspired everything from Halloween costumes to a new movie, has become the first video to rack up over 10 billion views on YouTube.

Why it matters: “Baby Shark“ has become one of the few children’s songs to break through and become universally known in the modern era. Other popular nursery songs, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Wheels on the Bus,” are many-decades old. The viral kids tune became the most-viewed video on YouTube in November 2020.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.