If you're cutting cable to save money, I have some bad news.
YouTube TV, one of numerous new services that deliver a bunch of live TV channels over the Internet, will cost $40 monthly if you sign up on March 13 or later. That's a $5 hike compared to the current price of $35.
The good news is that today YouTube TV is adding a nice chunk of networks it didn't offer before, namely Turner channels including CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and more. The 24/7 sports networks NBA TV and MLB Network will soon be included in the base price as well.
It will also expand availability to 16 new markets, including El Paso; Lexington, Kentucky; Dayton and Honolulu. After its expansion YouTube TV will be available in 100 of the top markets in the US covering 85 percent of the population.
Not to be confused with the free version of YouTube, home to myriad music videos, how-tos and rising millennial star talent, YouTube TV is a pay service that offers live TV channels as an alternative to traditional cable TV. With the addition of Turner it now includes more than 50 channels total, including local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC networks in most markets it serves.
Its competitors, including Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, all carry Turner networks as well, and range in price from $20 to $40. Each is also available nationwide, unlike YouTube TV, but some don't offer all (or, in Sling TV's case, any) of the four local networks many regions. YouTube TV also has an unlimited cloud DVR, and big-screen apps for Roku and Apple TV. The only major streaming platform YouTube TV doesn't support is Amazon Fire TV.
Although adding Turner channels addresses a major hole in YouTube TV's lineup, it's still missing Scripps channels (HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel), which are available on all four of its competitors, and Viacom channels (Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central), many of which are available on Sling TV and DirecTV Now, but not PlayStation Vue.
YouTube TV representatives told CNET "We're always open to adding new content," but had no announcement to make regarding any additional channels.
Current subscribers to YouTube TV, and those who sign up before March 13, can keep the original $35 price. YouTube's representatives confirmed that if you cancel and then sign up again after that date, you'll have to pay the new $40 price. They said the grandfathered pricing was intended to reward to loyal customers, and to encourage new subscribers to try the service before the price hike hits.
In addition to the networks below, which will be added to the base YouTube TV package, the service will offer NBA League Pass and MLB TV, with live broadcasts of out-of-market games in-season, for an additional fee. Timing and price for those add-ons was not announced.
Here's all of the new networks:
- Adult Swim
- Cartoon Network
- MLB Network (coming soon)
- NBA TV (coming soon)
- Turner Classic Movies