The evolving television landscape has become one of the most fascinating elements of the entertainment field over the last decade. So-called “cord-cutters” have abandoned traditional cable contracts in favorite of streaming options like Netflix and Hulu, shaking up old-fashioned concepts of ratings (Netflix famously refuses to share their numbers) and leaving cable companies on the defenses as they contend with an audience who no longer cherish appointment TV and definitely don’t want to be tied down to contracts.
Well, here’s a new thorn in their side. YouTube has announced a new live-streaming TV option along the lines of Dish Network’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, AT&T’s DirecTV Now that offers a fairly comprehensive network package for $35 a month. The biggest gaps in coverage are the absence of major Viacom networks like MTV and Comedy Central, Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TBS, and TNT), AMC, A+E, Discovery Networks, and Time Warner. On the upside the package includes an unlimited cloud DVR and a 6-member accounts that allow for 3 concurrent streams at a time.
Here’s a statement from the official announcement:
There’s no question that people love TV, from live sports to breaking news to sitcoms and dramas. But the truth is, there are a lot of limitations in how to watch TV today. Unlike online video, people can’t watch TV when they want, on any screen and on their terms, without commitments. Consumers have made it clear that they want live TV without all the hassle. They don’t want to worry about their DVR filling up. They don’t want to miss a great game or their favorite show because they’re on the go. They tell us they want TV to be more like YouTube.
Here’s a handy graphic breakdown of all the networks included in the package:
Here’s what YouTube TV offers:
- Live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks. YouTube TV gives you the best of live TV, from must-see broadcast shows like “Empire,” “The Voice,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Scandal,” to the live sports you want. YouTube TV includes major sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet, so you can watch your favorite NBA or MLB teams. We’ve also partnered with local TV stations, so you’ll also get sports and local news based on where you live. And YouTube TV offers dozens of additional cable channels, so you won’t miss out on the latest news from MSNBC or Fox News, popular shows and movies from USA or FX, kids programming from the Disney Channel or Sprout, or reality TV from E! or Bravo. You can also add Showtime, or Fox Soccer Plus to your networks for an additional charge. In total, YouTube TV gives you access to more than 40 networks, listed below.
- A cloud DVR, with no storage limits. With YouTube TV, you’ll be able to record live TV and never run out of storage. Your cloud DVR can record as many shows as you want, simultaneously, without using precious data or space on your phone and we’ll store each of your recordings for nine months.
- A service that works great on all your screens. You can watch YouTube TV on any screen—mobile, tablet or computer—and you can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS. And your cloud DVR goes with you, so you can stream your recordings on any device, whenever and wherever you want.
- YouTube Red Originals. With a YouTube TV membership, you can watch all of our YouTube Red Original series and movies right on the new YouTube TV app.
- Six accounts, one price. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits. You can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.
- Half the cost of cable with zero commitments. A YouTube TV membership is only $35 a month and there are no commitments—you can cancel anytime.
YouTube TV will roll out first in the largest U.S. markets before quickly expanding to cover more cities across the country. No official launch schedule has been announced but you can keep up with the updates on tv.youtube.com.