YouTube Is Launching a Live Streaming TV Bundle Service for $35 a Month (It's a Bit Too "Skinny" Though)
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YouTube Is Launching a Live Streaming TV Bundle Service for $35 a Month (It's a Bit Too "Skinny" Though)


YouTube hopes to take a bite out of the subscription live streaming TV package space that DirecTV recently entered (DirecTV Now), with its very own $35-a-month TV service that will include both broadcast and cable TV networks.

The standalone app (separate from YouTube Red) is expected to launch this spring.

The service will offer a “skinny bundle” which will include about 40 channels, composed of the so-called Big Four broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — along with some cable TV channels that are already affiliated with the broadcast networks. For example, as ABC is owned by Disney, which also owns the ESPN channels, the bundle will include ESPN; in the case of CBS, that would mean expect The CW and Showtime to be included; with Fox, there’s the FX network as well as Fox News, Fox News; etc, etc, etc.

But this means that it likely will not include channels that operate exclusively on cable TV like pretty much all of the Viacom networks (BET, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central), AMC (AMC, SundanceTV, IFC) or Time Warner (CNN, TBS, TNT, HBO), and many more. Those considering cutting the cord for a service like this will be asked to give up a lot, making it less attractive, especially at $35 a month, which is also what DirecTV Now charges for its base package, although that service gives you 60+ channels, including some of those YouTube TV will now.

But the service will very likely expand its offerings over time to make it more attractive to potential customers. Unless they offer something else to make up for the networks the service lacks; like unlimited cloud-based DVR storage (which is included in the base package, and which competitors don’t provide), and hopefully better overall service (DirecTV Now has been burdened with technical difficulties since its recent launch – problems that haven’t been entirely resolved).

Hulu is also expected to unveil its own subscription live streaming TV bundle service later this year. And since it’s a joint venture with Disney, Fox, Comcast (through NBCUniversal), and Time Warner, it should prove to be a real contender in the space.

Here are the channels that will come with YouTube TV when it launches in a few months:


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