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YouTube TV comes to 10 more cities today

The $35-per-month live TV streaming service is now an option for cord cutters in Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC and seven other new cities.

Now playing: Watch this: What's it like to use YouTube TV? We go hands-on

The free version of YouTube is an internet behemoth visited by 1.5 billion viewers worldwide each month, but the pay version, with more than 40 channels of live TV, is only available to a fraction of the US population.

That fraction just got a lot bigger. Today YouTube TV comes to 10 major new metropolitan areas:

  • Atlanta
  • Charlotte
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne
  • Phoenix
  • Washington DC

The live TV streaming service originally launched in five cities on April 5: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Three and a half months later, this is its first expansion.

Like similar multichannel services that stream a package of live TV channels over the internet, YouTube TV is aimed at cord cutters who want to ditch cable TV. But all four of its major competitors -- DirecTV NowHulu with Live TVPlayStation Vue and Sling TV -- are available nationwide. 

On the other hand, only YouTube TV among those five offers all four local stations -- ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC -- in every city it serves. (Disclaimer: CNET is owned by CBS.) The exception is Dallas, which doesn't get ABC on YouTube TV. YouTube's total number of local channels still lags significantly behind the others except for Sling.

All 15 YouTube TV cities are major markets, and according to Nielsen's local TV rankings (PDF link) the lowest in number of "TV homes" is Charlotte, ranked at No. 22. Those rankings peg Boston (at No. 9), Tampa-St. Petersburg (11), Seattle-Tacoma (14), Denver (17) and Cleveland (19) as the five next largest TV markets that don't yet have access to YouTube TV.

In my original hands-on with YouTube TV I liked its cloud DVR and family-friendly structure, which allows three simultaneous streams and six family member accounts. But I said it had to add more cities, channels and devices before it could really compete against the others, particularly my favorite, PlayStation Vue. 

These 10 new cities are a healthy improvement, as are the promised channel additions from May. Now it just needs to expand to more platforms beyond mobile phones, tablets and TVs running Chromecast.

Channel lineups compared for the top 5 streaming TV services: Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue?

Are your live local channels on a streaming service yet? See if you can get ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC online in your city.