YouTube TV adds CNN, TNT and more, raises price to $40
The cable TV alternative now has Turner networks and is available in more cities, but new users will have to pony up $5 more per month.
David KatzmaierEditorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
ExpertiseA 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics.Credentials
Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
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.
Watch this: YouTube TV's big-screen app lets you kick Chromecast to the curb
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 recently added 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.