The last time we went over the consumer options for dropping cable TV and getting channels streamed from the Internet, we said that in the absence of Playstation Vue, YouTube TV was now the best of the existing services. Looks like we’re going to have to evaluate that again.
YouTube finally reached a deal with Viacom to plug the biggest hole in its lineup…until now, channels like Nickelodeon and Comedy Central were absent from their grid. We’ve known about the addition for some time, but we figured YT’s parent company Google would eat the cost of the Viacom channels to stay competitive with rivals. Apparently being the dominant search engine makes you forget what competition actually means.
Bold move by YouTube TV to increase their price by $20 in a time when there are no sports and people have less money
— SaboteurMike (@Mikelennial) June 30, 2020
YouTube TV is now $64.99, a leap of $15 from $49.99…which wasn’t even YouTube TV’s original price. Until April of 2019 it was $34.99, meaning it’s jumped $30 in just two years. Social media is aflame with outrage and the YouTube TV service is actually buckling under the weight of people trying to cancel their subscriptions.
If the combined price of all these channels HAD to be $65, why not at least introduce a tiered system that lets people pick the channels they want? YouTube actually issued a response to this demand: “While we’d like to offer channels a la carte, it’s not fully up to us. In order to get new channels, we negotiate with content providers (networks) to license their content.” Okay, but if you can’t do it, how come Sling can?
Speaking of Sling, it’s time to evaluate the competition again. Sling TV is still the most affordable option with the ability to pick and choose blocks of channels. They come in two flavors, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, but odds are you’ll need them both, which comes to $44.99. That’s still cheaper than most other places. The cloud DVR is pretty tiny, holding just 10 hours of material, but can be boosted to 50 hours for an additional $5.
Hulu With Live TV has almost all the channels YouTube TV does and you get Hulu on the side (but with ads). Note that we said “almost”…for inexplicable reasons, you can’t get AMC through this service. Hulu’s cloud DVR also forbids you from skipping advertising, unless you pay them an extra $10.
FuboTV is surprisingly competitive given that we hadn’t heard about it until doing research for this article. UPDATE: A day after this piece went up, FuboTV raised its prices AND dropped all WarnerMedia channels including TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, so…we can’t recommend them either.
AT&T TV NOW is the same price as Fubo, but you should know better than to trust AT&T at this point. Smaller competitors are cheaper but also have far fewer channels…Philo eliminates just about everything we would actually watch to keep it at $20.