By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I know YouTube TV has the Sunday Ticket now so I am interested in signing up. But what does it have for other sports? Is it a good service for sports fans? — Jamal, Brooklyn, New York.
Jamal, you’re right. Many sports fans are now considering signing up for YouTube TV after its parent company secured the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket starting with the 2023 season. While you won’t need a YouTube TV subscription to get the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games, the streamer says subscribers will get Sunday Ticket price breaks and other benefits. (You will also be able to subscribe directly to the Sunday Ticket via YouTube Channels.)
For those not familiar with YouTube TV, it’s a live streaming service that offers roughly 85 channels for $72.99 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 free trial of varying length.
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, 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, 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, MavTV, NFL RedZone, Outside, Players TV, Stadium, SportsGrid, FanDuel TV, PokerGo+, Fight Network, VSiN, Fight Network and Impact Wrestling.
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 $9.99 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.
YTTV does not carry the MLB Network, which it lost along with MLB TV in a carriage dispute a few months ago. It also does not have The Tennis Channel, which it lost in a dispute a few years ago.
YouTube TV also 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 with the big exception of the MLB Network.
Jamal, 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