TV Answer Man, I am thinking of making the big switch from DIRECTV to a streaming service, but sports is very important to me. I am thinking of subscribing to YouTube TV so do you think that’s a good TV service for sports fans like me? — Tim, San Diego.
Tim, for those not familiar with YouTube TV, it’s a live streaming service that offers roughly 85 channels for $64.99 a month. (You can get more channels in add-on plans.) You watch YouTube TV via the Internet using a computer or connected device that includes the YouTube TV app, such as Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV.
Unlike many cable and satellite operators, YouTube TV does not require signing any contracts, and it offers a five-day free trial.
But does YouTube TV carry all the sports channels a ‘big-time’ sports fan would require in a pay TV service?
Maybe. But before we explain, let’s look at which sports channels YouTube TV does offer:
The streamer carries the network affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) in most markets. That’s important because the networks have the rights to many high-profile events such as NFL and MLB games, the Olympics, NASCAR races, The Masters golf tournament and so on. YouTube TV also carries TNT and TBS (NHL, NBA and MLB games), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, FS1, FS2, ACC Network, SEC Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel.
In addition, YouTube TV offers an add-on sports package for an extra $10.99 a month that includes beIn Sports, Billard TV, Fox Soccer Plus, GolTV, MavTV, NFL RedZone, Outdoor Channel, Players TV, Stadium, VSN, TVG, PokerGo+ and SportsGrid.
YouTube TV also has some regional sports networks including:
NBC Sports Bay Area
NBC Sports Boston
NBC Sports California
NBC Sports Chicago
NBC Sports Philadelphia
NBC Sports Northwest
NBC Sports Washington
SNY — SportsNet New York
For an extra $20 a month, the live streaming service also provides select NBC, ESPN and Fox-produced games in 4K such as Premier League Soccer, college basketball, NFL Thursday Night Football and college football.
Now let’s look at what YouTube TV does not offer:
YouTube TV does not carry the AT&T regional sports networks, the Bally Sports regional sports nets or the Yes Network, the Pac 12 Network, the Longhorn Network, NESN, Altitude, Marquee Sports Network, MASN or SportsNet LA. Those are some big omissions if you’re accustomed to watching your local team on a regional sports channel.
Bottom line: If you want to watch all your favorite sports, or a specific local team, you may be disappointed on occasion. But if you are only interested in nationally televised sports, you’ll probably find that YouTube TV does the job.
Tim, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann