No YouTube Red for ESPN, So No YouTube for ESPN at All

Rights, Legal Issues Keep Official Clips Out of YouTube's Ad-Free Paid Tier

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Official ESPN clips are disappearing from Google's YouTube because of rights issues related to the video service's new paid subscription YouTube Red.

While ESPN's parent Walt Disney has signed an agreement to participate in the new $9.99 a month service, ESPN isn't taking part because of rights and legal issues, YouTube said Friday in an e-mailed statement.

That means clips from official ESPN channels are becoming unavailable to view on YouTube in the U.S. The company is introducing the paid YouTube Red subscription on Oct. 28. Upon debut, the service is due to have 99% of the content that people search for, Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, said this week, suggesting ESPN's official content isn't a major draw.

ESPN didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The trade publication Variety reported on the disappearance of the clips earlier Friday, citing the rights issues.

YouTube has advised partners that their clips won't be viewable on the public, ad-supported service if they don't participate in the paid commercial-free version. Holdouts can keep videos hosted privately, allowing them to become public once a deal is reached.

-- Bloomberg News