By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I can’t figure out whether to get YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels for the NFL Sunday Ticket. I have Spectrum now but I might switch to YouTube TV as my main TV provider. What are your thoughts? — Paul, Santa Monica, California.
Paul, that’s a great question and I’ve received several like it from readers. Let me offer some pros and cons to each option.
Advantage: YouTube TV Primetime Channels
Google, which owns the two YouTube services, has announced that YouTube TV subscribers can subscribe to the base 2023 Sunday Ticket plan for $249 if they order by June 6. A Ticket bundle, which includes the games and the NFL RedZone channel, is available for $289 by 6/6.
However, if YouTube TV subscribers don’t get the Ticket by June 6, the base price jumps to $349 and the bundle price rises to $389.
If you order the Sunday Ticket separately via YouTube’s Primetime Channels, which does not require a YouTube TV subscription, the presale price is $349 for the season. If you wait until after June 6, the price jumps to $449.
YouTube Primetime Channels viewers will have to pay $389 for the Ticket bundle if they order by June 6 and $489 after June 6.
Clearly, YouTube Primetime Channels has higher prices. However, you have to factor in the cost of the $72.99 a month YouTube TV subscription. (Google says that you have to maintain the YouTube TV sub to watch the Ticket.)
So let’s say you get YouTube TV now to get the $100 discount, you would have to pay nearly $600 in subscription fees before the season ends in January. Unless you suspend your subscription until the regular season. (See this article on how to do that.) Even then, you would have to pay for five months of YouTube TV (September to January) which is more than $360.
YouTube TV has lower prices but you wind up paying more.
Advantage: YouTube TV
If you decide to order the Sunday Ticket through YouTube Primetime Channels, which does not require a YouTube TV sub, or any other subscription besides the Ticket itself, you will not be able to record the games. Primetime Channels does not include a DVR feature while YouTube TV does.
Update: The TV Answer Man has learned there will be a backdoor way to record the games if you get Primetime Channels. See this article.
Both YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels will have Multiview, which displays up to four games on one screen at the same time.
Both services will also have other features such as the RedZone (in the bundle) and a two-stream maximum.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to subscribe to a new pay TV service, YouTube TV might be your choice because it offers the Sunday Ticket for a lower price. However, if you are only interested in getting the Ticket, you will ultimately save money by subscribing to it via YouTube Primetime Channels.
Paul, 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