Today, YouTube TV debuts in five major U.S. cities as Google prepares itself for battle in the live television streaming race. It’s a sign that, before fully going against experienced competitors, YouTube TV will be fine-tuned before a nationwide release. Google wants to ensure everything is working properly before the masses can join the service and enjoy live video streaming from major television channels from any device.
Introducing YouTube TV
People in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia can buy a YouTube TV membership right now for $35 per month following a free one-month trial. That price, according to Google, is roughly half of what the average consumer is paying a regular television provider. And you’re still getting all popular channels on cable in addition to local CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC stations.
YouTube TV is going live with channels from media companies including The Walt Disney Company (ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN), CBS Corporation (CBS, Showtime), 21st Century Fox (FOX, FS1, FX, FOX News Channel), and NBCUniversal (NBC, MSNBC, USA Network, Bravo). Notably, Viacom- and Turner-owned networks are missing. But Google is working to add channels in the coming weeks and months. AMC, BBC America, and IFC are among the soon-to-be live channels added at no extra cost for customers.
When it comes to features, YouTube TV is pretty similar to competitors like DirecTV Now and Sling TV. Where this service is different is its pricing structure and the apps. Google is rolling out YouTube TV with a single bundle and just two add-on channels. There isn’t a ton of choice, which could be helpful or disappointing depending on your preferences. Plus, with apps, we know the company is going to stay on top of development and make sure they’re the same across all platforms.
If YouTube TV isn’t yet available in your area, you can sign-up for notifications on when the live television streaming service is ready for you. Google says more U.S. markets are “coming soon,” but that’s rather generic and gives us no real indication on YouTube TV’s path towards expanding nationwide. We recommend just signing up for those notifications and waiting it out.