In recent years, it has become more and more fashionable to “cut the cord,” especially among the younger generation of consumers. Cutting the cord of course means to cancel one’s traditional TV delivery service – be it cable or satellite – in the hopes of saving money. One big factor contributing to the rise of cord-cutting is the easy, contract-free – and relatively cheap – availability of subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Over the last year or so, another online threat to traditional TV delivery models has emerged, in the form of internet-only services that also offer legal live TV streaming, as well as Netflix-style on-demand programming. These so far include Playstation Vue, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now, which offer a cable-style package of multiple networks – and in some cases cloud DVR services – and a on-screen programming guide similar to what most viewers will be used to. Hulu has also announced their intentions to launch a live-TV service in 2017, with similar features, also including access to the standard Hulu on-demand library as well.
Now, original internet streaming giant YouTube has officially announced its own upcoming live-TV service, dubbed simply YouTube TV. The service – currently slated to be available to U.S. residents only – will cost a fairly economical $35 per month, which grants subscribers the ability to create up to six unique user accounts, each with its settings, profile, personal DVR list, and recommendations.
As far as what channels are included, all four major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC – are on-board, and all cable channels directly affiliated with those companies are part of the package. The CW – which is notably missing from services like Vue and Sling – is also included, as is access to all of the original series and movies available on YouTube Red.
Here’s the full list: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, Telemundo, USA, FX, Freeform, Disney, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, FXX, Syfy, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Universo, Nat Geo, MSNBC, FOX News, CNBC, FOX Business, FOX Movies, Sprout, Universal HD, Nat Geo Wild, and Chiller. Additionally, 10 sports networks – all ESPNs, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, etc. – are there to satisfy fans. Showtime and FOX Soccer Plus are also presented as premium add-ons
On the DVR front, users can record and save an unlimited number of programs, with recordings being stored for nine months. This is much, much longer than the 28-day DVR window offered on Vue. A firm launch date for YouTube TV has yet to be set, but those interested can go to the official website and sign up for email updates concerning when the service will become available in their market.
YouTube TV will launch soon in the U.S.’s largest markets, and expand thereafter.