Multiple large tech companies have been in negotiation for NFL Sunday Ticket distribution rights all year. While early rumors pegged Apple and Amazon as the top contenders, Google’s YouTube and YouTube TV have won the bidding war. Google announced today that it has struck a multi-year deal with the NFL for YouTube to be the new home for NFL Sunday Ticket after the current deal with DirecTV ends at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season. Read more ›
Earlier this year, YouTube TV added support for 5.1 surround sound to the latest Fire TV Stick models, including the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick Lite. YouTube TV has now announced the expansion of 5.1 audio support to more Fire TV models, as spotted by Digital Trends. The list of supported devices now includes the the Fire TV Stick 4K and the Fire TV Cube, as well as the Apple TV. YouTube TV did not specify which Fire TV Cube model, 1st or 2nd Gen, is now supported, so I assume it is both. It also lists “Fire TV Stick with 4K Ultra HD” as supported, but that doesn’t really correlate to an actual Fire TV model, since both 4K-capable Fire TV Sticks are already explicitly included in the list of compatible devices, so it’s unclear what that means. Also unclear is if older Fire TV Stick models, like the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, are also supported.
Earlier this month, YouTube TV announced that support for 5.1 surround sound would be coming to Google TV, Android TV, and Roku devices with no mention of Fire TVs. Amazon has now reached out to clarify that YouTube TV 5.1 surround sound is now supported on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Fire TV Stick (3rd-gen), and Fire TV Stick Lite. Oddly, there was no mention of the Fire TV Cube, Amazon’s flagship Fire TV model, supporting the feature. Hopefully, it will gain support in the future, but Amazon did not state that other device would gain support. To check for 5.1 surround sound support in YouTube TV, you can open the “More” menu while a video is playing, select the bug icon, and then look for “AC-3/EAC-3” in the audio codec listing. UPDATE 7/24: Amazon has told me that it “expects many more Fire TV devices to roll out compatibility soon.”
YouTube TV, the paid streaming TV service, has announced that 5.1 surround sound audio is finally supported on more devices, via The Verge. Smart TVs from Samsung, LG, and Vizio, as well as the traditional remote-less Chromecast have supported 5.1 audio for a while but now Google is adding support for Google TV devices, like the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV, Android TV devices, like the Nvidia Shield TV, and select Roku devices. Devices that don’t yet include 5.1 audio support are all Fire TVs, Apple TVs, PlayStation, and Xbox. Google says that it is “still working internally and with partners” to add 5.1 audio support to more devices, so there’s still hope for it coming to more devices.
A day before Google was scheduled to remove YouTube from the Roku appstore, Google and Roku have reached an agreement that will keep YouTube accessible on Roku devices and will return the YouTube TV app to Roku’s channel store. The deal is said to be a multi-year agreement between the two companies, but nothing else has been said about the specifics of the arrangement. Read more ›
History repeats itself, only this time it’s not Google leveraging the popularity of YouTube against Amazon and Fire TVs, but against Roku and new Roku devices. Google has stated that it will be removing the YouTube app from the Roku channel store on December 9th, which will prevent new and factory reset Roku devices from accessing the video service, according to Variety. This is a result of negotiations between Google and Roku regarding app distribution terms going nowhere for the past 6 months, which has already resulted in the removal of YouTube TV from the Roku channel store. Read more ›
Earlier this week, NBCUniversal and Google revealed that over a dozen NBCUniversal-owned channels would be disappearing from YouTube TV if an agreement between the two companies was not reached by the end of September. The two companies have now said that they are temporarily extending their existing agreement in order to keep the channels available for the time being. This means that YouTube TV will not be getting $10 cheaper, as Google said it would if the channels were dropped. So, for a “short” time at least, YouTube TV subscribers will continue to have access to NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, the Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, USA Network, and regional NBC Sports networks. However, they may disappear any day if talks between the two companies go south. UPDATE: Google and NBCUniversal have reached a long-term agreement that will keep all NBCUniversal-owned channels available on YouTube TV, according to Deadline.
YouTube TV may lose over a dozen NBCUniversal owned channels at the end of the month due to a contract dispute between NBCUniversal and Google, according to a website NBCU put up and a blog post from Google. The existing deal between the two companies is set to expire Thursday, Sept. 30 and if a new agreement is not reached by then, Google will be forced to drop NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, the Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, USA Network, and regional NBC Sports networks. Read more ›
Google has announced that they are adding access to YouTube TV through the standard YouTube app. This allows them to, essentially, get around Roku’s removal of the YouTube TV app since the YouTube app is still accessible on Roku devices. At the bottom of the YouTube app’s left-side navigation menu will soon be a button “Go to YouTube TV” button. Read more ›
Roku has dropped YouTube TV from its channel store, making it impossible to install the service on any Roku device. This is due to a dispute between Roku and Google regarding the terms of their contract renewal which the two companies have not been able to agree on. Roku has chosen not to remove the YouTube TV app from devices that already have it installed, but they warn customers that there is no way to reinstall the app, should they choose to uninstall it or reset their Roku device. Read more ›