YouTube TV Expands to 14 New Markets

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 29 Comments

YouTube TV Expands to 14 New Markets

This week, Google expanded the reach of its YouTube TV service to 14 new markets. The service is now available to half of U.S. households, according to reports.

This is where I’d insert a quote and a link to the YouTube blog post announcing this expansion. But it doesn’t exist.

So let’s move on. As you may recall, Google announced its YouTube TV “skinny bundle” service—I’d call it a cord-cutting service, but whatever—in late February and then rolled it out to the first 5 U.S. cities in April. It then added 10 more cities in July, bringing the total to 15 cities (really regions or markets, since you can be outside a supported city and still obtain the service.)

With this week’s expansion, the availability of YouTube TV almost doubles to 29 markets. You can find a complete list of supported markets here, but that’s going to change soon too: Google will bring another 17 markets into the fold in the coming weeks, so this is really happening.

From my perspective, the big addition is Boston. Had that city been available from the start, I would have tested this service months ago.

As it is, I’m moving to Pennsylvania next week, so I’ll need to hold off. (Ironically, Philadelphia was among the first five cities available, but you need to physically be there to sign-up.) And the reason I’m excited to do this is that it appears that YouTube TV is among the best, if not the best, of the currently-available cord-cutting services. As you may recall, I have not signed up for cable TV in Pennsylvania and will see if we can survive on online services instead.

A number of things put YouTube TV over the top compared to other services, including PlayStation Vue, which I am currently testing. It’s inexpensive at $35 per month, and that price includes unlimited cloud-based DVR capabilities, local TV access including sports, broad compatibility with devices, and multiscreen access with 6 different accounts, so everyone in the family is covered. Including the cats.

Anyway, this is a big push, and it looks like Google is serious about making this work, in part because of its focus on local live TV, which is a smart move.

 

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “YouTube TV Expands to 14 New Markets”

  1. Avatar

    MikeGalos

    So the advantage is paying Google rather than paying Comcast or Charter Communications?

    Seriously.

    What advantage is there in "cord cutting" with a subscription bundler like Google or Hulu (who is the biggest provider of this type of service)?

    I can see the advantage if you have multiple houses and travel between them so you can use one subscription for two homes,

    Aside from that unusual case, I fail to see any difference in "cord cutting" using a subscription bundler aside from having to pay separate bills each month for TV content and Internet service and land-line phone (dying but usually free in a bundle for TV and Internet service).

    I guess there is the trendiness of saying "I'm a cord cutter" but that seems to be about it.




    • Avatar

      Waethorn

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Cuz Internet is cool and these are all Silicon Valley projects.

    • Avatar

      Tallin

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Personally, I don't see Youtube TV as all that great. It's really just a slightly new take on IPTV. The advantage I see with cord cutting is saving money by paying only for the content you want and being able to watch it on your schedule. To my mind, traditional TV channels are likely to slowly fade into obscurity. We've got far better ways to access content without having to live on the schedule of TV channels (DVR makes things more convenient, but you still have to set up the recording in the first place and also deal with any viewing limitations of the DVR).


      The biggest problem right now is that the networks have far to much power and are slow to embrace current technology, so a lot of content is not readily available the way it should be (even more so outside of the US). Sports or HBO are good examples. It's nearly impossible to watch local NHL games, for instance, without a cable subscription. It will change, I think, as they realize more money can be made by making the content readily available at a fair price.

    • Avatar

      Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      The advantage is quite simple. If you go with cable, most folks are stuck with a single option in their neighborhood, and, if you hadn't noticed, they like to raise your pricing whenever they feel like it. Yeah, you can call them up and argue yourself down to a better price, but it's a time consuming and frustrating process. I know because I have had to do it with my ISPs everywhere I've lived. Coincidentally, those ISPs are the telecoms that want you to bundle your life away. If you go with a satellite provider, you still need to get a reliable internet connection, too.

      Now with internet TV services, you get choice, and usually whatever you chose is a fixed monthly price with no multi-year commitment or sudden pricing changes. And if someday that provider does increase pricing or fails to meet your needs, you cancel your service and pick a different one that same day, without the silly dance of phone calls and hookup and disconnect appointments.

      I should mention I have no dog in this race. We only have an ISP and we only use Amazon Video as part of our Prime subscription.

    • Avatar

      Chris_Kez

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Cost could also be a consideration. $35 is cheaper than a comparable package from my local cable providers; and that's just for the channels. I have Optimum cable and I have to pay for each cable box (I think i's $7 or $10 each). YouTube TV allows viewing on up to three screens if I'm not mistaken.

      I also have to pay an additional fee for DVR, and then a small fee on top of that for what they call "multi-room DVR" so I can view my DVR content on any of my cable boxes (otherwise the recordings are limited to the specific set top box on which you created the recording).

      Customer service or user experience might also be a consideration. With YouTube TV or other similar services it is typically as easy as pressing a button to edit/cancel/pause/resume your service at any time. And the prices are transparent. I absolutely dread having to call Optimum for any reason. If I want to change service in any way I know it is going to be a long and painful experience. They will try to up-sell me on something or we'll get into a "let's make a deal" dance.

      That said, I'm sticking with Optimum for the time being. There are still channels that are not available on other services; not all my TVs can get streaming content; I have not laid the groundwork for spousal approval; last time I checked each of these services had a mix of limitations around what could be DVR'd vs. consumed live. I think in two or three years I'll revisit all of this in earnest.

      • Avatar

        MikeGalos

        In reply to Chris_Kez:

        If cost is the only reason then let's stop pretending there are other reasons inherent in this besides "Company X has a good deal in my area".

        • Avatar

          Chris_Kez

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          I don't think cost is the only reason, per my comment above. Depending on the service and your particular needs, it might in fact be cheaper to have a traditional cable bundle. In that case you might opt for one of these cord-cutting services because you like the flexibility in terms of starting/stopping/changing your subscription; or the flexibility to watch on your phone or tablet or any other connected screen, rather than being tied to a specific television screen.

          I don't think anyone needs to or should "pretend" about anything. These are just new and different ways to consume content, and I think that is a good thing. I encourage folks to see what works best for them and make an informed decision.

  2. Avatar

    betsig250

    I still use DirectvNow as my service as I am grandfathered in at $35 with HBO included. I originally signed up for the 3 month trial (got a free AppleTv) and was ready to kill it as the service was HORRENDOUS at first. The last 2 months tho it has been pretty flawless. I really like I can watch it wherever I am at and on any device. I don't really care about DVR as most of the stuff I watch I can watch on that providers own app using my DirectvNow credentials.


    I can't switch even if I want to as my wife's 2 favorite channels are Food and HGTV and they aren't offered on YouTube.

  3. Avatar

    GS1999

    When I ditched Comcast, I used a website www.suppose.tv to help me figure out which steaming service was right for me. I entered the channels I watch, specified some as must-haves, and the website compared all the options for me. I started doing this in a spreadsheet before I found the site, and it saved me a ton of time. And it's free.


    I signed up for YouTube TV. For $35 I get the channels I want (the b'cast ones plus BTN, FS1, CSN Philly). And a great DVR.

  4. Avatar

    Skolvikings

    What exactly makes YouTube TV better than PlayStation Vue?

  5. Avatar

    Martin Couture

    Meanwhile, in Canada... ... ...

  6. Avatar

    Chris Payne

    Ah man, just opened up to my market, but still not available on Roku. That's what I'm waiting for... this service seems like the best out of the competitors.

  7. Avatar

    etturbo

    I've been using PlayStation vue for almost a year now, running it on two amazon fire boxes, one for each of my two tvs. My wife and i can watch at the same time with the same account or with our own. I work on the road and get my home town local TV, which is nice. I pay $34 all in and get the channels I want, but I don't watch much tv. However, Play Station vue announced an increase in their rates starting in October or November so, I may have to look into You Tube TV going forward.

  8. Avatar

    Darmok N Jalad

    If you can get over the hump on ditching expanded channel lineups, believe it or not, you can live just fine without it. You just find other ways to occupy your time. I haven't had cable in over 10 years (before that time, my roommate at the time wanted it). I think the internet helps, especially streaming services.

  9. Avatar

    glenn8878

    $35 versus $20 Sling TV. Have to compare the channels and services. I just cancelled my bundle service. Keeping Internet only. I'll see.

  10. Avatar

    Peter Vassiliou

    Reading the title I would expect to read about YouTube TV expanding to other countries, not US cities. The title is misleading and shows how many Americans think about the rest of the world..

    • Avatar

      CompUser

      In reply to petvas: I've never quite understood why so many Americans seem to be so concerned about how people in the rest of the world will perceive what is said on an obviously American web site that is obviously geared primarily to an American audience. I see it as a form of liberal arrogance actually. But for some reason, I have confidence that when intelligent people in Europe (for example) visit a U.S. based web site, they will understand that the target audience for the web site is the United States, and that the information on the web site will be U.S.-centric. And I'm also confident that if they want information geared more for the country they live in, they will visit a web site based in the country they live in.


    • Avatar

      Chris_Kez

      In reply to petvas:

      I won't disagree that Americans do tend to be very America-centric, but in this case I would point out that Paul is probably correct to use the word "markets" rather than "cities". This is consistent with the U.S. media and advertising industry, which divides the country up into markets. For example. it is likely that the roll-out to "Boston" (for example) includes not only the city of Boston but also the surrounding area. Some markets comprise not only a city and its suburbs but sometimes two or more distinct cities.

      • Avatar

        Peter Vassiliou

        In reply to Chris_Kez:

        Still this is too American. When people outside of the US read the word market, they think of something much bigger than a city..

        • Avatar

          Chris_Kez

          In reply to petvas:

          I suppose Paul could have written "YouTube TV Expands to 14 New American Markets". Bad Paul.

          Though as I explained Paul used the word "market" exactly because it is bigger than a city. I suppose you're arguing that to a non-American audience the word "market" implies perhaps a country or a group of countries. But let's put this in context: Paul is an American, writing from America about an American company that is slowly rolling out a service in America.

          I'm usually more sympathetic to complaints about U.S-centricity, but I feel like complaining about this particular headline, then doubling down with "still this is too American" is a bit much. Maybe I'm just cranky today.

          • Avatar

            Peter Vassiliou

            In reply to Chris_Kez:

            It's ok, I understand, but I am just saying that for people from Europe the title is saying something completely different than for Americans. This website is American, but it can be accessed by everyone, not just Americans.

            Anyway, the most sad thing is that YouTube TV is just not available elsewhere..

  11. Avatar

    Bats

    I am a Youtube TV subscriber and I LOVE IT. 


    Prior to using this service I used DirecTV Now, taking advantage of the $35/month unlimited plan. The potential was there, but it wasn't perfect because the service lacked CBS and The CW (which I need). For that price no cloud DVR functionality which isn't such a big deal.


    However, I switched to Youtube TV when they announced that CBS and The CW was included along with unlimited cloud DVR (stored for a 9 months), as well sports channels. For me, being able to watch the YES Network is a deal breaker/maker. The service was almost perfect for me and it became so, when Google added BBC America and AMC because I am a Doctor Who and Walking Dead fan. I don't really care about the loss of CNN. I've hated that (fake news) network along with their other channels. So I forfeited my DirecTV Now promotional plan and switched to Youtube TV and I don't regret it.


    Prior to the cord cutting switch, I was paying a lot for basic DirecTV service + International channels (for 4 televisions) in addition to Optimum Internet. With DirecTV out and YouTube TV in, I basically saved about $100 a month. LOL...that's a lot. I also have to subscribe to certain International channels. Luckily, the international channel we care about charges $9/month vs the $20 DirecTV was charging. All in all, I am really happy.


    Not only has Youtube TV been great, but it fits perfectly with my Google ecosystem. Access to (regular) Youtube is easy from Youtube TV and it's kinda excitng what other things or features Google will have for the service. Google will probably find a way to tie in Youtube TV with Google Calendar, Google Assistant,...perhaps Google Play,....lol....is any doubt that Google won't do this? 


    About Cloud DVR...like I said, the YES Network was a deal breaker/maker for me, and luckily Youtube TV offered it. Since the start of the 2017 MLB season, I recorded every single Yankee game this season. I love being able to do that, because as a baseball fan and Yankee fan, I can go back to the game via the computer, screenshot and annotate clips and share them with my baseball community. LOL...this stuff is awesome.


    AND....


    This service can be included in Google Family Library Sharing. How awesome is that!!!


    There is ONE NEGATIVE I found with Youtube TV. You can't really take it with you internationally, if you were to go out of the country. You can't even use a VPN service, because Chrome will detect it and cut you off. I've tried. I know DirecTV Now works. In that case, I have no problem cancelling Youtube TV for the duration of my vacation and go back to Youtube TV for a month and then go back. Cutting the cord is so awesome.


    I wish, Youtube TV can be part of Amazon Fire/Fire Stick. My Chromecast and Fire Stick occupy two HDMI ports. It would be great if I can just use the Fire Stick as my entertainment portal, but...lol....maybe in the future. It's not a big deal.


    Youtube TV on my 46 inch tv, 27 inch desktop pc, 12.5 inch laptop/tablet, Nexus 6P, and Pixel XL.....I'll never have a boring minute anywhere!

  12. Avatar

    david.thunderbird

    At 35 is it still satisfying to pirate or OTA content? YES.

  13. Avatar

    renniweini

    Now you can watch all live TV channels for free on your Android devices using TVTAP app. All the live TV channels are available in HD quality for free on this app. All channels available on this app.

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