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Why you may still be missing ESPN and other Disney-owned channels on YouTube TV

ESPN, ABC, FX, and other channels owned by Disney have returned to YouTube TV. But if you reorder your live listings so that the channels you actually watch are higher up than the ones you don’t, you likely don’t see those channels at all.

The problem is a bit of a glitch in that not only have the channels in question been pushed to the bottom of the listings in the custom view — they’re actually not even enabled in the first place. And that’s not a new phenomenon. It’s the way it has always worked when new channels are added to YouTube TV and you’re using the custom sort, and so it makes sense (in a perverse, broken sort of way) that it’s the case with the Disney-owned channels as they’ve been added back to YouTube TV.

YouTube TV custom listings.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It also highlights the problem. These are some high-profile channels — your local ABC affiliate, ESPN, FX, the Disney Channel, and more. These aren’t some of the more niche channels born in the internet age that you’ll find further down the listings. These are channels that YouTube TV was forced to remove, albeit for a little more than a day.

And those who aren’t using the default view probably don’t even realize the channels have returned, which is something YouTube TV needs to fix. That said, the custom view is a powerful part of YouTube TV. It allows you to disable channels you’ll never watch and get them out of your listings altogether, saving you valuable screen real estate and scroll time. It also allows you to re-order channels so that the things you’ll watch more often will appear higher up.

Here’s how to re-enable the Disney-owned channels — and anything else that’s new that you might be missing — and move things around in the best order for your preferences:

  1. Go to in a web browser. (It only works in a browser.)
  2. In the top right, look for Sort. If you’re already using the default sort, you should be good to go.
  3. If you’re already using the Custom view, click Edit to enter the Live Guide settings.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and find any channels that don’t have a red checkmark next to them.
  5. Click the radio button to re-enable the channel.
  6. You can now re-order the channels by grabbing the handles (the four lines) or clicking the overflow menu (three dots) to push them all the way to the top or bottom.

That’s it. Maybe one of these years YouTube TV will actually fix this. Or maybe they consider it to be a feature.

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Phil Nickinson
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