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YouTube TV Forcing Subs to Watch Commercials

YouTube TV is preventing subscribers from fast-forwarding past commercials while watching a previously aired show, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The live streaming service, which launched last week in five markets, offers roughly 50 live channels for $35 a month. In addition, YouTube TV features an ‘cloud DVR’ that permits subscribers to record an unlimited amount of programming.


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But WSJ says the ‘cloud DVR’ comes with a catch.

If there’s a On-Demand version of the show available on YouTube TV, the subscriber can’t watch the DVR version. And the On-Demand version doesn’t permit fast-forwarding past the ads, per an agreement between YouTube TV and the channels.


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The scenario is uncommon in the TV industry as many pay TV viewers use the FF button to watch a DVR-recorded show in a shorter amount of time. And pay TV operators don’t require subscribers to watch the ad-supported, On-Demand edition, as YouTube TV is now doing.

YouTube TV acknowledges that it’s forcing viewers to watch the ads by requiring them to watch the On-Demand show, but defends the practice by saying it’s “tied to (their) deals” with the programmers.


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— Phillip Swann