We’ve all spent hours watching videos on YouTube. Whether it’s travel, home improvement, educational, or just funny videos, YouTube’s free video selection seems endless.
But what many don’t realize is that YouTube also has an online streaming service called YouTube TV. And depending on your viewing habits, you might find YouTube TV to be an attractive choice among popular cable TV alternatives.
In this YouTube TV review, I’ll explain how the streaming service works and how it compares to other popular streaming platforms.
Table of Contents
- What Is YouTube TV?
- YouTube TV Pricing
- YouTube TV Trials and Discounts
- YouTube TV Channel Lineup
- Cloud DVR
- Required Equipment
- Household Sharing
- YouTube TV Pros and Cons
- YouTube TV Alternatives
- YouTube TV FAQ
- Is YouTube TV Worth It?
YouTube TV is a streaming service launched by YouTube in 2017. It offers subscribers access to many popular broadcast and cable channels and focuses on live and on-demand viewing.
Although the service started out at an affordable $35 a month, prices have risen in the years since its launch. YouTube TV is definitely more expensive now, but depending on what you pay for cable or satellite TV, YouTube TV may be more affordable.
YouTube TV Pricing
As mentioned earlier, YouTube TV charged just $35 per month when it was launched. However, like all things, prices have risen. You can choose from a few different plans and add-ons with YouTube TV. Here’s a breakdown of the plans, add-ons, and their respective prices.
|– 100 live channels
– Unlimited cloud DVR space
|– 30 Spanish networks
– Unlimited cloud DVR space
|NFL Sunday Ticket Plan
|– Access to every out-of-market Sunday game
– Does not require a 2-year contract
YouTube TV’s base plan is priced (as of this writing) at $72.99 per month. The base plan includes over 100 live channels and unlimited cloud DVR space.
You’ll also get some additional features, such as additional customizable household accounts with this plan. And up to three users can stream at once.
YouTube TV’s Spanish plan is priced (as of this writing) at $34.99 per month. This plan comes with over 30 Spanish networks and unlimited cloud DVR space.
As with the Base plan, the Spanish plan comes with additional customizable household accounts, other features, and the ability for up to three users to stream at once.
NFL Sunday Ticket Plan
The NFL Sunday Ticket plan can be purchased as a standalone product or in conjunction with your YouTube TV subscription. You’ll get a discount if you purchase it with your YouTube TV subscription.
The NFL Sunday Ticket plan gives you access to every out-of-market Sunday game unavailable in your local broadcast area.
You’ll pay (as of this writing) $349 per year to add NFL Sunday Ticket to your YouTube TV subscription. You can watch NFL Sunday Ticket on unlimited streams at home and up to two streams out of the house.
Subscription fees for NFL Sunday Ticket can be paid for all at once or in 4 monthly installments.
YouTube TV Add-Ons
You can also purchase add-ons with your YouTube TV subscription and your NFL Sunday Ticket plan. With NFL Sunday Ticket, you can get NFL Red Zone for an extra $40 per year. NFL Red Zone is an add-on that gives you whip-around coverage of every Sunday game.
Other premium channel add-ons run $15 a month on average when added to your YouTube Basic plan:
- MLB TV
See the YouTube TV webpage for a full list of premium channel add-ons and pricing.
YouTube TV Trials and Discounts
YouTube TV and add-ons such as NFL Sunday Ticket often run discount promotions. For example, as of this writing, you can get $20 off per month of YouTube TV for the first three months.
You can also get $50 off of the annual NFL Sunday Ticket plan price, with or without YouTube TV. However, these promotional prices change often, so watch the YouTube TV website for details.
Note that promotions rotate and vary, so the above-mentioned discount may not be available when you read this review.
YouTube TV offers a 5-day free trial or a 20-minute free preview trial as well. After your 5-day free trial expires, you’ll be charged the regular price of $72.99 per month for YouTube TV, plus any prices for add-ons that you choose.
Trial promotions will vary just as price promotions do, so keep your eyes open for special offers for YouTube TV trial offers.
You can cancel your YouTube TV subscription anytime, with no penalties. That being said, YouTube will not refund you for a partial month if you cancel your YouTube TV subscription mid-month.
NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL Red Zone packages are non-refundable once purchased.
YouTube TV Channel Lineup
YouTube TV has over 100 channels with its basic plan. Channels as of this writing include:
|CBS Sports Ntk
|Hallmark Movies Mystery
|Justice Central TV
|Law & Crime
|Fox Live NOW
|NBC News Now
|Nat. Geo. Wild
|Oxygen True Crime
And others. Note that the channel lineup changes based on your geographical location. See the YouTube TV website and enter your zip code to get the exact channel lineup for your area.
As mentioned elsewhere in this review, YouTube TV comes with unlimited, separate cloud DVR storage for all of the household accounts you utilize with your subscription.
Note that recordings are kept for nine months, at which point they are deleted from the user’s cloud storage space. You can stream your DVR-stored shows from anywhere in the U.S. with available internet.
You must have compatible equipment to stream YouTube TV, but the list of devices is long. You can use YouTube TV with any of the following devices:
|Vizio SmartCast TVs (select models)
|Android TV (not available on some Android mobile devices)
|Samsung Smart TVs (2017+)
|Apple TV (4th gen. & 4k)
|Xbox Series X
|Roku TVs (all models)
|Chromecast with Google TV
|Xbox Series S
|LG Smart TVs (2016+)
|Fire TV Stick (Lite, 2nd gen, 3rd gen, 4k)
|Xbox One X
|Hisense Smart TVs (select models)
|Fire TV Cube & Fire TV Cube 1st gen
|Xbox One S
|Fire Edition TV Smart TVs (select producers)
|Tivo Stream 4K
|Xfinity Flex devices
|Roku (most devices)
A YouTube TV subscription comes with the ability to have six separate household accounts at no extra charge.
Similar to how Netflix works, each of the six household accounts will have its own login. YouTube TV also grants each account its own personalized recommendations and its own unlimited cloud DVD storage account.
Note that even though you are entitled to share your subscription with up to five additional family members or roommates besides yourself, the Basic plan only allows for three people to stream at one time.
However, there is an add-on called 4k that allows you to watch on as many compatible streaming devices at a time as you want. The 4k add-on costs (as of this writing) $9.99 per month.
Multiview is a feature that will allow you to watch up to four shows or games simultaneously on one screen. It’s a great feature that will appeal to sports fans who don’t want to miss any of the action.
The feature allows you to switch between audio tracks as you’re watching easily. You’ll see a white border around the show that you have audio for.
And you can switch back to just one screen, two or three at any time. You can also manage and view a watch history for multiview.
There is no extra cost to take advantage of the multiview feature.
YouTube TV Pros and Cons
Here are some YouTube TV pros and cons you may want to consider as you ponder whether or not to use the streaming service.
- Ability to add a live sports package
- Stream away from home on up to two devices.
- Up to six household accounts
- Unlimited DVR cloud storage
- Multiview screen capabilities
- Costs are similar to traditional cable or satellite TV
- DVR has limited features
Likely the biggest “con” is the high price. Paying anywhere between $73 to $150 or more per month (depending on add-ons) might be unaffordable for many households and doesn’t offer much savings over cable or satellite TV.
That being said, YouTube TV’s biggest attraction is the multiple features it offers standard plan users, from multiview to unlimited DVR storage.
YouTube TV Alternatives
Here are a few YouTube TV alternatives that you might want to check out as you’re deciding which streaming service is best for you.
Sling TV offers three live TV plans; Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and the option to get both. Sling Orange and Sling Blue both offer different live TV lineups. Certain channels are exclusive to Sling Orange or Sling Blue, while several channels are provided on both plans.
|Sling Orange & Blue
|Fox Sports 1
|The Disney Channel
|The NFL Network
Additional channels include Nick Jr. TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, and Vice.
Regular prices for Sling TV are $40/month for Orange, $40/month for Blue, and $55/month for both. However, you can regularly find discounts for 50% for a limited time.
Sling TV also offers sports channels and a premium sports add-on called Season Pass that starts at $199. There are premium channels available for an additional cost as well.
Sling Orange users can watch on one screen at a time. Blue users can watch on three screens at once. And users who subscribe to Sling Orange + Blue can watch on up to four screens simultaneously.
The list of Sling TV-supported devices is long and includes gaming consoles, streaming devices, and smart TVs. You can cancel your subscription at any time; however, you will not be refunded a partial portion of what you paid. For more details, check out our full Sling TV review.
Hulu With Live TV
Hulu With Live TV is a product of the popular streaming service Hulu and offers 90+ channels, Hulu originals, and movies, along with live streaming of your favorite news channels, sports channels, and more.
While the price for regular Hulu is $7.99 per month, and ad-free regular Hulu is $14.99 per month, Hulu with Live TV costs $69.99 per month.
The service promises a no-hassle setup, no hidden fees, and unlimited DVR. Available channels are as follows.
|ABC News Live
|Game Show Network
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
And others. One cool thing about Hulu is that it doesn’t charge box rental fees, administrative fees and other similar fees like cable and satellite channels do.
Note that Hulu with Live TV does have ads at the $69.99 price point. However, you can get it ad-free if you pay the higher price of $82.99 per month.
But even if you get the Hulu Live TV with no ads, you’ll still see ads on ESPN channels. You can have up to six household accounts with Hulu and can cancel at any time. If you cancel, you won’t get refunded for your paid billing period.
Hulu offers 30-day free trials for its plans.
FuboTV is a live TV streaming service that can offer you nearly 300 channels, depending on the market you’re in and the subscription package you choose.
You can choose from four different packages with FuboTV:
- Pro: $74.99/month, 166 channels, 1k DVR hours, up to 10 screens
- Elite: $84.99/month, 242 channels, 1k DVR hours, up to 10 screens, 4k included
- Ultimate: $99.99/month, 286 channels, 1k DVR hours, up to 10 screens Showtime, NFL Redzone, 4k included
- Latino: $32.99/month, 58 channels, 250 DVR hours, up to 2 screens
Some of the channels included with plans are:
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
|NBC News Now
|ABC News Live
|Great American Family
|Fox Live Now
|The Pet Collective
|The big dish
|Bob Ross Channel
|Law & Crime
|AXS TV Now
And others. You can also get add-ons such as Showtime, Starz, MLB.TV, Sports Plus with NFL Redzone, and more for an additional monthly charge.
Each FuboTV package comes with a free trial as well. For more details, read our FuboTV review.
YouTube TV FAQ
Are there ads on YouTube TV?
Yes, you will see ads on YouTube TV, just like you would with regular live TV. Depending on what you’re watching, and how, you may be able to fast-forward through some ads.
What is YouTube Premium?
YouTube Premium is a separate plan that allows you to watch YouTube videos and YouTube music ad-free, offline, and in the background. The cost (as of this writing) for YouTube Premium is $13.99 per month.
Does YouTube Premium come with YouTube TV?
YouTube Premium does not come with YouTube TV. It is a separate plan. However, if you are a YouTube Premium member and a YouTube TV member, You can watch YouTube content on YouTube TV without ads.
What are YouTube Primetime Channels?
YouTube TV has a separate feature called Primetime Channels, but they don’t include them with your Basic YouTube TV subscription. They are available if you pay an extra fee for them.
Is YouTube TV Worth It?
The main appeal to YouTube TV when it first launched, was that it was an affordable $35 per month and much cheaper than traditional cable or satellite TV packages.
However, in the 6+ years since, YouTube TV prices have increased dramatically, putting it almost on par with what you will pay for cable or satellite subscriptions.
That being said, the streaming service does have several attractive features and add-ons, such as multiview, unlimited cloud DVR storage, and its NFL Sunday Ticket add-on. YouTube TV is worth a look if you are hooked on traditional cable or satellite TV. You’ll like it even more if you’re a die-hard football fan.
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About Laurie Blank
Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.
She’s a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.
She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.