By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I am very upset at YouTube TV. They added the Tennis Channel yesterday but they put it in the Sports plan which requires you to pay more money to watch it. They didn’t say they were going to do this before. I subscribed to YouTube TV a month ago thinking I would be able to watch the Tennis Channel on June 1 but now they just want more money from me!! How can they get away with this? — Judy, Plano, Texas.
Judy, YouTube TV, the live streaming service, yesterday added the Sinclair-owned Tennis Channel as it said it would in early April when it signed the carriage agreement with the broadcasting company. But it did not say, nor did the Tennis Channel or Sinclair, that the channel would only be available in YouTube TV’s Sports Plus plan which costs $10.99 a month in addition to the $72.99 monthly base programming package.
The surprise placement has prompted about two dozen angry reader e-mails to yours truly as well as numerous other scathing remarks in our Comments section and on social media. The YTTV subscribers seem particularly upset because they thought they were going to be able to watch the Tennis Channel’s live coverage of the French Open without paying more. (The French Open began last Sunday and runs until June 11.)
“That is a bunch of crap. Network agreements couldn’t do more to kill tennis coverage in America if they tried. Now on TCPlus you can only watch live matches. Peacock doesn’t have any coverage until the 4th. I was already a YouTubeTV subscriber and to make us pay another $11 is ridiculous,” wrote Melissamc1 in our readers forum.
“Let’s see here. Just raised prices, said they were adding the Tennis Channel (wrongly thinking that was part of the price increase), and now wanting an additional $11/mo. The TC does not fit with the other offerings in this package (boxing, wrestling, Poker…). Guess I will have to continue to be without or find another streaming service.
Hugely disappointed tennis fan!” added Billie Boi.
“Yytv has become another cable company money extortion conglomerate…the only reason I have it, my son added me to his plan, otherwise, I was fine with free Pluto TV, and recaps on You tube…” wrote Pingas.
Was looking forward to the Tennis Channel since all the press releases stated it would be available with four other channels June 1. Nothing was stated that TTC would only be available with the Sports Package…a little misleading and disappointing
— Marc McClanahan (@MarcTMcClanahan) June 2, 2023
The tennis channel isn’t in the base package anymore? Oh man, you left that out. I wish I had stayed with Hulu
— Bob M (@Bobbyoky) June 2, 2023
Yay. Bring back the Tennis Channel to the base package, and oh yeah bring back MLB Network. That’d be great, thanks.
— Joel Kaser (@joelkaser) June 2, 2023
The suggestions from subscribers that YouTube TV isn’t any ‘better’ than cable or satellite may be a bit surprising because the live streamer faces the same economic conditions and restrictions that the traditional pay TV ops face. Sinclair likely charged a significant fee to carry the Tennis Channel and YouTube TV is looking to recoup that expenditure.
But YTTV might have given tennis fans a heads-up in the April announcement that the Tennis Channel would not be added to the base package. I suspect the subscriber anger would be diminished some if it had.
Judy, 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