This summer I wrote about how I canceled cable and how much I saved by switching to YouTube TV. Overall, it's been a great transition, and YouTube TV is easily one of the best cable TV alternatives around.
So far, I love the library that lets you easily add shows and movies to your DVR, its excellent phone interface for when I'm watching TV in bed and how customizable the channel guide is.
But there's one thing I sorely miss with YouTube TV — and there's no fix in sight.
Recently I've been keenly interested in watching the New York Yankees — not just because they're playing well — but because of Aaron Judge's historic chase of Roger Maris' AL home run record.
YouTube TV is incomplete on sports
Last night Judge tied that record, but I had to settle for SportsCenter highlights. And that's because there was no way for me to watch the Yankees vs Blue Jays on YouTube TV. You simply cannot watch the YES Network on YouTube TV. There isn't even a paid add-on.
In fact, DirecTV Stream is the only streaming service that offers YES right now, and I'm not going to sign up for a whole other live streaming option for $89 a month. I love the Yankees but not that much. This is a leagues-wide problem, by the way, as DirecTV Stream is the only way to watch many (if not most) regional sports networks, as our guide on live streaming sports explains.
The worst part was searching YouTube TV for Yankees, finding a result through MLB Network and then being told it was "blocked in my area." I was striking out at home, unlike Judge (who kept getting walked).
Yankees fans aren't completely shut out on YouTube TV
To be fair, there are some Yankees games available to stream through other services. For example, Judge could have tied the record during last week's Apple TV Plus live broadcast of the Yanks vs Red Sox game (that series also ran on YouTube TV via ESPN and Fox). And I tuned in for that. But you never know when history is going to be made, and that's the point.
There are other things I like about YouTube TV as a sports fan. Key plays is an amazing feature that lets you catch up on the highlights of a game in progress that you just started streaming. It works for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football and college basketball games.
I also like that I could subscribe to NFL Red Zone in time for NFL season, so I could watch all the highlights from around the league live and see "every touchdown from every game." (Red Zone is also available as an add-on with Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV and Fubo, among others) This comes as part of the Sports Plus option, which brought my overall monthly price from $64.99 a month to $79.99.
Outlook: Yankees fans are in a waiting game
But none of this solves the problem facing myself and every Yankees fan who cut the cord but doesn't have DirecTV Stream. Yes, MLB playoff games will be available through YouTube TV on channels like ESPN, Fox and TBS. But I would like to see Aaron Judge make history with his 62nd dinger, and it may very well happen on YES, and before the playoffs get underway.
The Yankees are on Prime Video this Friday against the Orioles, but the following four games are all on YES (or MLB Network if you're out of market).
There is some good news. Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, said this summer on WFAN that YES Network was going to launch its own streaming service, but no timetable was given.
“You’re going to see a direct to consumer package come out from YES very, very soon. It’s a balance," said Levine.
Well, very, very soon can't come soon enough for me.
Next: Rick pulls a Sailor Moon in Rick and Morty season 6 episode 5. Check out our Chromecast with Google TV HD review to see if it's enough for you. Or check out rumors of YouTube locking hi-res content behind a paywall.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.
I think their customer service is their biggest problem. Well, that and their engineers they keep blaming for not fixing my service:Reply
I signed up for Verizon Fios with youtube tv nearly 3 years ago. I've been on autopay ever since. I've never missed a payment and have never been even 1 day late. 4 days ago youtube tv shut of my service for no apparent reason. Nothing has changed, not the credit card, not the pay date, not the autopay, nothing...
Both sides keep saying its the other guys fault and I can get no resolution and no service.
I've always wanted to add HULU, I guess its time to add HULU+ TV with a different internet service provider.