On Tuesday, YouTube debuted YouTube TV, its new service that competes with cable and satellite television by offering you a package of channels delivered over the internet – to your smart TV, phone, or laptop, and so on.
YouTube TV is offering what’s called a “skinny bundle,” in this case a package of around 40 channels built around deals with the major broadcast networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox) and their affiliate stations. There are some big holes, particularly around YouTube not having Time Warner content like CNN, TNT, and HBO. With any smaller package, there are tradeoffs, however YouTube has made sports a focus.
“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,” YouTube said in a press release. “We’ve also partnered with local TV stations, so you’ll also get sports and local news based on where you live.”
The package costs $35 dollars a month, but with a little planning, you can get access to it for about $12 a month. That’s because YouTube TV lets you have three simultaneous streams going at once (most of its competitors offer only two), and lets you have up to six accounts connected. If you want to save money, it’s easy to split that $35 dollar cost between three people, all three of whom can be watching different shows at the same time.
YouTube has been explicit about targeting millennials with this offering. “Millennials love great TV content, but they don’t want to watch it in the traditional setting,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said at YouTube TV’s launch event in LA on Tuesday. And many millennials don’t yet have to worry about things like their teenage kids all wanting to watch different shows in their rooms.
YouTube TV has a few big caveats and programming holes, but if you are a cord-never or cord-cutter looking to get back into the TV ecosystem, finding two friends and paying $12 a month might be a lot more palatable.
The service will be available in the next few months.
Additional reporting by Steve Kovach.