Well, there you have it: YouTube TV is getting a price hike, finally joining all of its peers in our list of the best cable TV alternatives. YouTube TV broke the news to multiple Tom's Guide staffers who are customers today (March 16) directly, via email.
Specifically the email announced that this is the first price increase in three years, and that prices are going from $64.99 per month to $72.99 per month. The email blames the cost of the programming it broadcasts, noting "As content costs have risen and we continue to invest in the quality of our service, we are updating our price to keep bringing you the best possible service." If this is too much for you, check out our guide to the best YouTube TV alternatives to avoid the price hike.
The billing change goes into effect "in your first billing cycle on or after April 18, 2023, and will be charged to your payment method on file going forward." But if you're currently in a promotional price or trial, your billing will not change until that trial or promotional period is over.
The email, titled "YouTube TV price update" (if you're trying to find it) announces that YouTube TV's 4K Plus add-on tier will go down by half, from $19.99 per month to $9.99 per month. This tier offers 4K streams for select programming and the ability to download shows for offline viewing.
With this change now Sling Blue is only $20 less than YouTube TV, one of the best cable TV alternatives it's often compared to. We break down all of the differences in our YouTube TV vs Sling TV face-off.
Analysis: YouTube TV's price hike feels sadly inevitable
|Service||New 2023 price||Old 2022 price|
|Sling TV Orange & Blue||$55 to $60 (based on local ABC affiliates)||$50|
|Hulu + Live TV plan with ad-free Disney Plus||$75 (Legacy pricing)||$70|
|Fubo TV||$75 (before Regional Sports Fees)||$70|
As someone who just switched from Sling TV to YouTube TV — and is thankfully he's got the 3-month discount to $55 per month that should last until this June — I can say this change is as unsurprising as it is unwelcome.
When all of the major cord-cutter services have raised prices in the last year (Hulu still offers a $70 Hulu + Live TV deal, but now you get Disney Plus with ads as opposed to without ads), YouTube TV was standing alone as the one service that was trying to hold onto yesteryear.
This increase means YouTube TV is now $13 to $18 more than Sling Orange + Blue, the next-most-affordable live TV streaming service with major broadcast channels.
If this change pushes people to leave, they'll likely see if Sling offers enough, or decide to save with the Hulu + Live TV bundling. For now, we recommend you check out our YouTube TV vs Sling TV and YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV face offs, which we're going to update based on this new pricing.
YouTube TV and Hulu offer an unlimited DVR to Sling's 50-hour cap, and YouTube TV has a better overall user experience, with a ton of sports-focused features such as Key Plays.