Q. So tell me, Mr. Answer Man, why on earth did YouTube TV raised their price. I only subscribed because it was lower than the cable guy. What are they thinking??!! — Carmen, Marina Del Rey.

Carmen, I feel your pain. But the reason that YouTube TV yesterday raised its monthly subscription price from $50 to $65 is obvious. Like the ‘cable guys,’ YouTube TV must pay programmers for the right to carry their channels. And those programmers are constantly raising their carriage fees, which is why the cable and satellite guys, and now YouTube TV, must raise their subscription prices as well.

I won’t say the programmers are at fault; they need to charge higher fees to offset the cost of producing more, and better, shows in an increasingly competitive environment. But it is what it is. Pay TV services, whether it’s cable or streaming, have to pay to carry channels and the fees have become astronomical.

Of course, for customers like yourself, this still might not make sense. YouTube TV, and other live streaming services, have generated millions of subscribers in the last few years thanks in part to significantly lower prices. But that couldn’t be sustained. In fact, FuboTV this morning just raised its monthly price by $5 as well. So it’s not just YouTube TV.

However, the  outpouring of opposition to YouTube TV’s price hike may be unprecedented. Social media sites are overflowing today with angry and sometimes obscene comments about the increase with many sharply criticizing YouTube TV’s decision to add 14 Viacom/CBS channels.

The live streamer’s decision to raise prices during a pandemic seems to have especially hit a nerve.

For example:

And so it goes. You can find hundreds more like that today on Twitter and Facebook, and other social media sites.

It remains to be seen how much the price increase will hurt YouTube TV’s subscription effort. If other streaming rivals also raise prices (as Fubo just did), perhaps the impact will be slight.

But it could also be the trigger to send some subscribers either back to the ‘cable guy’ or a slim diet of Netflix and another subscription VOD streamer, such as Disney Plus or Amazon Prime.

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Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at swann@tvpredictions.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann