TV Answer Man, I see that YouTube TV is charging just $15. I’m thinking about signing up but does it have the best sports channels like ESPN and the regional sports nets that have our teams? — Julie, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland.
Julie, 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 normally offers a five-day free trial.
However, if you sign up by 2:59 a.m. ET tomorrow (September 10), you can get YouTube TV for $14.99 for the first month of service. That’s $50 off the regular base price of $64.99 a month. The deal also includes a 21-day free trial with the first month discount, which means you can get seven weeks of service for $14.99. (The regular rate applies after the seven weeks unless you cancel prior to the end of the term.)
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 prestigious golf tournaments 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, and the Golf 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/TVG2, PokerGo+, Fight Network, Impact Wrestling 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 and college football, NASCAR races, MLB games and so on.
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. (For instance, Julie, MASN, which carries the Orioles and Nationals in your area, is not on YouTube TV.)
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.
Julie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann