- Dec 11, 2021
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YouTube TV is Google’s own streaming live TV service. And it offers over 85 channels, live.
This product was designed for those that are looking to cut the cord from cable and be able to still watch cable channels. Without being tethered to their cable box, and be able to watch it anywhere.
YouTube TV is heralded as one of the best streaming live TV services on the market right now, despite the pretty regular price increases it has seen. It now costs $64.99 per month, after costing just $35 a few years ago. It’s the only streaming service that has PBS, and it is also the only one with an unlimited cloud DVR service. Making this a really incredible service for those that are looking to cut the cord from Comcast, Cox, AT&T, Verizon and other cable operators.
What is YouTube TV? And should you ditch cable for Google’s TV service? We’ll attempt to answer that, as well as other questions, like the cost, cloud DVR limitations, multiple screen limitations and more. Here’s everything you need to know about YouTube TV.
Table of contents
What is YouTube TV?
YouTube TV is Google’s attempt at capturing the cord-cutting audience. It’s a streaming Live TV service that offers 85+ channels, and continues to add more every few months. It also has YouTube Originals available.
YouTube TV initially launched in 2017, and it was restricted to a handful of markets in the US. The reason for the slow rollout, was gathering all local channels. Google did not want to launch in a market that did not have all of the locals. That includes ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX. Initially, Google was offering around 60 channels for $35 per month. In 2018, ahead of its nationwide launch, it increased prices from $35 to $40, but those that got in on the $35 price were grandfathered in.
In 2019, Google made YouTube TV available in all 210 markets in the US. It also added nine networks from Discovery, and raised the price from $40 to $50 per month. This also ended the grandfathered-in pricing for those that were paying $35. Google forced everyone to start paying $50.
In 2020, YouTube TV was able to strike a deal with ViacomCBS to bring over their channels to the service. Bringing over all of their channels meant another price increase. Going from $50 to $65 per month, and bringing the total number of channels to 85+. On March 17, 2021, YouTube TV added the rest of the ViacomCBS Channels to the service. These include BETher, Dabl, Nicktoons, Nick Jr, teenNick, MTV2, and MTV Classic.
YouTube TV is pretty unique for a couple of features that it offers and most of its competitors do not. The biggest one being an unlimited Cloud DVR. Allowing you to record just about everything. The other big feature is it’s availability. It’s available on almost any platform.
How much does it cost?
YouTube TV costs $64.99 per month for the base package. That includes 85+ channels, and all of its features.
There are some premium networks you can add-on, as well as the Sports Plus package. Sports Plus is priced at $10.99 per month and gives you an additional eight networks. The premium networks that are available include HBO and HBO MAX for $14.99. Showtime for $11/month, STARZ for $7/month, Cinemax for $10, Epix for $6/month, Curiosity Stream for $3, AMC Premiere for $5, Shudder for $6, Sundance Now for $7, Urban Movie Channel for $5 and AcornTV for $6. These all come with a free trial, anywhere from five days to 14 days. So it’s pretty easy to check out these premium channels before paying for them.
Sports Plus Package
Google added the Sports Plus package in September 2019. This is a new add-on for YouTube TV that will allow you to add even more sports networks. Included in this package is NFL RedZone, beIN SPORTS, FOX Soccer Plus, Stadium College Sports, VSiN, Outside TV+, PokerGO+, MAVTV, TVG, Stadium, GOLTV, Billiard TV, SportsGrid, and PlayersTV. It’s available for $10.99 per month.
Update: On September 9, 2021, YouTube TV added six additional channels to this package. For the same $10.99 per month.
Entertainment Plus Package
YouTube TV announced the Entertainment Plus package in February 2021. This package bundles HBO MAX, SHOWTIME and STARZ for $30 per month. Individually, these would cost you $35 per month, so you’re saving $5 here. Not a big savings, but a great way to bundle them with YouTube TV.
On June 28, 2021, Google debuted another new add-on for YouTube TV – 4K Plus. This is an add-on that adds three main features. Of course, the ability to stream in 4K. Though that will be limited, at least at first, since most content is not available in 4K. But you can rest assured that the Olympics will be available in 4K.
It also brings offline downloads with almost no restrictions. Google says anything that you can record to your cloud DVR, you can download for offline viewing.
The third feature is that you’ll be able to watch unlimited streams with this package. Instead of the three concurrent streams that YouTube TV normally has.
This package is going to cost an additional $19.99 per month, and is available now.
What devices are supported?
YouTube TV is available on a large variety of devices right now, and it is still adding more to its list.
As of today, YouTube TV is available on Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku OS, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As far as smart TVs go, it is available on many smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Hisense, Sharp, TCL and VIZIO that are 2016 and newer. Not to mention the fact that any TV that has Android TV, Roku or Fire TV built-in will also work – which includes almost every Hisense and TCL Smart TV from recent years.
On September 30, Google announced that the new Chromecast with Google TV will have a pretty tight integration with YouTube TV. With a new “Live” tab on the home screen that shows the current TV listings for what is live. At launch, only YouTube TV works with this tab, but Google plans to add more to that tab in the future. Like Sling TV, FuboTV and others.
Update: As of April 30, 2021, Roku no longer carries YouTube TV. Existing users can still use YouTube TV, for now. However, you do still have the option to Cast to your Roku device. This is in result of the carriage dispute between Google and Roku. This should only be a temporary thing, hopefully.
What channels are offered?
YouTube TV has steadily been adding new channels to its service since its inception in 2017. Currently it has over 85 channels, and covers the majority of the top 100 most popular cable channels.
Recent YouTube TV changes
- YouTube TV added ViacomCBS channels: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1. Five of the 14 ViacomCBS channels have not yet arrived on YouTube TV, but will be very soon. Those include BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr, Nicktoons, TeenNick and MTV Classic.
- YouTube TV lost all Fox regional sports networks on October 1: After trying to renegotiate with Sinclair following its extension, YouTube TV lost access to all Fox regional sports networks. These include: Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Wisconsin, SportsTime Ohio, and the YES Network. It’s worth noting that Fox, FS1 and FS2 will remain on YouTube TV though.
- NFL Network came to YouTube TV in September 2020: Without any sort of price increase.
- YouTube TV debuted new Sports Plus package in September 2020: YouTube TV debuted its first add-on package in September with Sports Plus. For $10.99 per month you can add NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, GolTV, TVG, MAV, Stadium and Fox Soccer Plus.
- MLB.TV comes to YouTube TV: In February 2021, YouTube TV announced that it was bringing MLB.TV to its service (as an added cost). It is available as of March 2021. With subscribers getting a free preview throughout March. MLB.TV costs $24.99 per month or $129.99 for the season.
YouTube TV Channels