It sounds like ESPN is taking the cost-cutting approach to every platform they utilize.

In the wake of this week’s announcement that YouTube is rolling out a paid subscription option called YouTube Red that eliminates ads completely, ESPN has begun pulling its videos off YouTube, presumably as a result of an ongoing contract dispute with the company.

From The Verge:

ESPN’s official YouTube channel has also pulled its videos, giving up more than 1.6 million subscribers. Any visitors will now see an empty page. Embeds of the pulled videos (as in this SBNation post) now show a blank space, indicating that the video has been made private, although it’s unclear whether the action was taken by ESPN or YouTube itself.

Not everyone’s happy with YouTube’s new paid subscription option. In the wake of this week’s announcement, ESPN has begun pulling its videos off YouTube, presumably as a result of an ongoing contract dispute with the company. The switch was first noticed at Grantland, where YouTube videos have been pulled en masse and replaced by ESPN’s official player.

ESPN’s official YouTube channel has also pulled its videos, giving up more than 1.6 million subscribers. Any visitors will now see an empty page. Embeds of the pulled videos (as in this SBNation post) now show a blank space, indicating that the video has been made private, although it’s unclear whether the action was taken by ESPN or YouTube itself.

ESPN’s parent company Disney had initially pushed back against YouTube Red, but according to Deadspin, that dispute isn’t what’s behind today’s blackout. Disney at large has signed on with the service, but the deal doesn’t include ESPN itself because of rights issues concerning some of the footage rebroadcast by the channel. “Videos of partners who don’t update their terms will be made private,” YouTube said in a statement to Deadspin, “but we remain committed to working closely with these partners with the goal of bringing them on board.”

It’s definitely a cost-cutting measure for the non revenue producing YouTube content. First Take’s YouTube is still rolling strong.

By Glenn Erby

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