YouTube TV comes to 95 more US markets in time for the Super Bowl

Formerly restricted to 100 TV markets across the country, the live TV service will soon be available everywhere.

David Katzmaier Editorial 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.
Expertise A 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.
David Katzmaier
3 min read

YouTube TV's detail screen for Super Bowl 53 as seen on a TCL Roku TV.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This year there's more ways to stream the Super Bowl live over the Internet than ever. And if you live in Bangor or Reno or Wilmington, you can now add one more to the list.

Starting today, YouTube TV is available in 95 additional TV markets, including those three, and will roll out nationwide soon.

Until now the $40-per-month service, which offers a slate of live TV channels streamed over the Internet as an alternative to traditional cable TV, was only available in certain markets. It launched in April 2017 in five US cities -- Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area -- and has steadily expended since, reaching 100 markets in August 2018.

With today's expansion it blows up to 195 markets, which covers 98 percent of US households. The remaining two percent, aka the rest of the country, will also get YouTube TV "shortly thereafter." When asked whether it would be a matter of days or weeks, a YouTube representative told CNET "I don't have any more concrete timelines to share so far, but it's not a matter of days."

Not to be confused with the free version of YouTube available all over the world, YouTube TV costs $40 per month and is restricted to viewers in the US. It competes against cord-cutter live TV services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue, most of which have been available nationwide since launch.

In addition to typical "cable" channels like AMC, Bravo, CNN, ESPN and Fox News, many streaming TV services offer local channels too, namely ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox (note that CBS is the parent company of CNET). None of them offer all four locals in every market however. In Portland Oregon, for example, Hulu lacks the local ABC station and PlayStation Vue lacks the local CBS station. 

YouTube TV offers all four local stations in most markets it serves, which leads to fewer missing locals. According to a list of all 195 markets YouTube's representatives sent CNET, it has all four live local networks in 176 of them. The remaining 19 markets (the two most populous being New Orleans, Louisiana and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) have three out of the four local networks. And all 195 get CBS, home of the Super Bowl this year.

CNET asked YouTube about local coverage for the remaining two percent of US households, but the representative wasn't able to provide a definitive answer. 

Some markets are served by a nearby station. For example the Mankato, Minnesota market is covered by the Chicago NBC station (WMAQ) while Presque Isle, Maine is covered by the Boston NBC station (WBTS). For markets not served by any live local station, YouTube TV subscribers can still watch those network's shows on-demand. 

Correction: Citing a YouTube representative, this article originally said the remaining 2% of US households would get YouTube TV in a matter of days. In fact the representative originally told CNET it would not be in a matter of days.

Watch this: Tips and tricks to master YouTube TV