Smarttvs

Why NBC May Not Be Working on YouTube TV & How to Fix It

March 5, 2024

Affiliate Disclaimer: SmartTvs is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you!

Have you noticed that NBC or your local NBC affiliate station is not working on YouTube TV recently? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In early 2023, many YouTube TV subscribers found that their access to NBC and local NBC channels was being disrupted. This guide will explain the reasons why NBC has had issues on YouTube TV, whether the problems have been resolved, and most importantly, what you can do to get NBC working again if you’re still experiencing problems.

What Caused NBC to Stop Working on YouTube TV?

In January 2023, NBC and YouTube TV’s parent company Google got into a contract dispute over how much YouTube TV should pay to carry NBC stations. As a result, NBC announced it was going to pull their network from YouTube TV.

After midnight on September 30th, 2022, NBCU’s networks will no longer be available on YouTube TV while we work to reach a fair deal.

This would have meant no more NBC primetime shows, NFL Sunday Night Football games, your local NBC affiliate news – all gone. Fortunately, the two companies reached an agreement at the last minute to continue carrying NBC and it’s sister stations like USA Network, Bravo, Oxygen and more.

So NBC was blacked out for a few hours overnight when the contract expired, but the situation has been resolved and cord cutters with YouTube TV once again have access to NBC programming.

Or at least most do…

Why Do Some Viewers Still Not Have NBC on YouTube TV?

Although NBC did come back online for 95% of customers shortly after the new deal was reached, a small subset of users found that NBC remained unavailable in their viewing area.

This was particularly an issue for some viewers who lived outside of major metropolitan centers, in rural areas. Without access to an NBC local affiliate station from their home viewing area, these customers were still seeing the “removed due to a contract dispute” message.

So why does your location matter so much for watching NBC on YouTube TV?

The answer lies in complex rules around geographic broadcast rights. Although NBC owns their primetime shows and nationwide cable channels like USA Network, local on-air NBC affiliate stations are actually owned and operated independently.

These local stations – like NBC 4 New York or NBC Los Angeles – have negotiated contracts to be the exclusive broadcasters of NBC shows like The Voice, La Brea or Saturday Night Live in their geographic Designated Market Area (DMA).

That means if the nearest affiliate station hasn’t reached a carriage agreement with YouTube TV, the service won’t have the rights to carry NBC programming where you live.

To solve this, YouTube TV needs to reach agreements with every local station, or identify an alternate NBC affiliate station they already have a partnership with that covers your location.

How to Check for NBC Streaming Rights in Your Location

Fortunately, YouTube TV has been actively working on new distribution agreements to return NBC access to all subscribers. But in case NBC still isn’t working for you, here are some steps to check if streaming is allowed where you live:

If NBC streaming rights haven’t been authorized for your geographical area yet, read on to learn what your options are.

6 Ways to Get NBC if YouTube TV is Blocked Where You Live

Here are steps you can take if YouTube TV says NBC is unavailable or restricted in your viewing area:

1. Double Check Your Location Settings

In some cases, even if NBC streaming is available where you live, YouTube TV may still block it if they don’t have your correct location.

To verify where YouTube TV thinks you’re accessing the service from:

  • Open YouTube TV settings
  • Select “Location
  • Enable location access so YouTube TV can pinpoint your current area
Youtube Tv Location Settings

This will make sure you see the channel line-up for your actual designated market, not somewhere inaccurate. Re-check for NBC access after confirming location.

2. Use Antenna for Over-the-Air NBC

The cheapest solution is to use a digital broadcast antenna ($20-$80 one time cost) to get over-the-air NBC station signals direct to your television.

  • Plug the antenna into TV
  • Scan for channels
  • Locate your local NBC channel
Antenna

You’ll get access to live local programming this way without needing a streaming provider. Quality HD broadcasts, no monthly fees.

3. Switch and Compare Live TV Streaming Plans

See if alternative cable-replacement streaming options carry your regional NBC station. Some services may have better local channel availability for your address.

Fubotv

Check channel lineups before switching to make sure NBC will be available where you live. Services like Dish Network and Spectrum may offer NBC as well.

4. Use a VPN to Unblock NBC

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can trick streaming services into thinking you are accessing the internet from somewhere new. This gets around blackout restrictions based on location.

Best Vpn

To make NBC work on YouTube TV with a reliable VPN:

  • Connect to a US-based VPN server located where NBC streams normally on YouTube TV.
  • Refresh YouTube TV and see if NBC now plays properly.

5. Get a Digital TV Antenna for NBC

Purchase an affordable over-the-air HDTV antenna to plug into your television and scan for available channels. This should locate local NBC broadcast signals to restore free access to live programming.

Amazon Basics Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna is a top reviewed $20 option.

Digital Tv Antenna For Nbc

6. Stream NBC Apps

As a last resort, install NBC apps directly from Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or NBC.com to get on-demand or some live content without YouTube TV. Services like Peacock Premium provide a huge NBCUniversal catalog as well.

  • NBCSports app: ESPN-style scores, stats and some NBC Sports Network live streams
  • NBC app: Full episodes of current NBC shows on-demand, some live programming
  • Peacock: Huge NBCUniversal back catalog and originals
Stream Nbc Apps

When Will YouTube TV Get NBC Rights for My Area?

YouTube TV continues negotiating with local stations to restore NBC access nationwide. But having definitive insights into if or when agreements will be finalized for specific regions is challenging.

The contract dispute and channel blackouts between networks and streaming platforms are an unfortunate reality of today’s fragmented video distribution models. With so much competition among content owners and delivery systems in a rapidly changing market, temporary outages have almost become an expectation until equilibrium is reached.

Rest assured YouTube TV is motivated to secure rights so all subscribers can access a full, competitive channel package. Check this guide periodically for updates if NBC remains unavailable in your viewing area.

What Should I Do If NBC is Still Not on YouTube TV?

Here is a recap of your best options if NBC will still not stream on YouTube TV:

  • Use a digital HDTV antenna to watch over-the-air NBC channel broadcasts
  • Access NBC shows from the official NBC app on your streaming device
  • Compare YouTube TV to alternatives like fuboTV or DirectTV Stream for your area’s NBC live stream availability
  • Enable a VPN connection to spoof your location and bypass streaming blackouts
  • Check weekly if newly-secured agreements restore NBC access from your location

We hope you found this guide useful for understanding why NBC has had streaming issues with YouTube TV lately, and what can be done to restore access either temporarily through workaround options, or permanently once improved distribution deals are enacted.

Stay tuned for updates if you are still impacted by NBC streaming disruptions on YouTube TV. And good luck getting back popular shows like The Voice, Saturday Night Live, Sunday Night Football and your local news!