TV Answer Man, I am a YouTube TV subscriber and I am not happy that I can’t watch ESPN. Do you have any suggestions or tips on what to do until it comes back. If it does come back!! If it doesn’t soon, I’m switching. — Bob, San Diego.
Bob, as you know, YouTube TV, the multi-channel, live streaming service, early Saturday morning lost 17 Disney-owned channels due to a fight over carriage fees. The list of affected channels includes ESPN, FX, Freeform, National Geographic, the Disney Channel and eight Disney-owned ABC stations, among others.
But it seems that the loss of ESPN is generating more anger than the other Disney channels combined. The sports network has the broadcast rights to 37 college football bowl games this season with seven just yesterday. Since the bowl games are not available on ESPN+, there would seem to be no convenient or inexpensive way for YouTube TV to watch the games.
CNET yesterday published an article suggesting Hulu Live is the best alternative for disaffected YouTube TV subscribers since the Disney-owned (!) streamer carries the entire suite of Disney channels. But before you do that, I suggest you do this, particularly if your main priority is to watch the bowl games and other live ESPN events:
Get Sling TV.
Like Hulu Live, the Dish-owned streaming service carries ESPN (in its Orange plan.) But Sling’s first month of service is available for just $10 while Hulu Live costs $64.99 a month (and rises to $70 on December 22.).
I suspect this dispute will not last more than a month — and it might be just a week or less — so you can continuing watching ESPN for just $10 rather than $65 if you subscribed to Hulu Live.
Sling’s Orange package also includes the Disney Channel, National Geographic and Freeform so you can continue to get your Disney-flavored fix as well.
If the fee fight extends more than month, you can reassess this choice. But for now, doing this rather than that is the best bet for YouTube TV’s sports fans.
Bob, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann