No one likes paying more for the same service, which is why YouTube TV’s latest announcement is sure to ruffle some feathers. Google’s plucky cable replacement service is getting a handful of new channels — good! — but it’s also jacking its price to $40 per month — not so good!
Still, if you crave the siren song of cheap cable replacement, you have a few weeks to secure the old $35-per-month price indefinitely. All you have to do is sign up for the service before March 13.
Heather Moosnick, YouTube TV’s director of content partnerships, shared the news on the official YouTube TV blog. Understandably, she relegated the price increase to the latter half of the post, front-loading the page with information about all the new channels YouTube TV will receive.
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To be fair, there are some excellent channels joining the lineup: TNT, Adult Swim, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, truTV and Turner Classic Movies, for starters. Sports fans will also be pleased to know that NBA TV and MLB TV are coming to YouTube TV as well. This will also give subscribers access to NBA League Pass and MLB.TV, which allow them to watch out-of-market games online for an additional fee.
Still, all these new channels don’t come for free, and YouTube TV thinks that a $5 hike on its monthly rate to $40 per month is a fair asking price for the expanded service. (For comparison: Sling TV’s starting package starts at $20 per month; PlayStation Vue, $40 per month; DirecTV Now, $35 per month; and Hulu with Live TV, $40 per month.) The new prices will take effect on March 13.
There’s a silver lining, however: If you’re already a member of YouTube TV, or sign up before March 13, Google will lock your rates at $35 per month indefinitely. (“Indefinitely” doesn’t mean “forever,” if Netflix prices are anything to go by, but it’s better than nothing.) You can also cancel your service anytime, but if you cancel and resubscribe, it’ll be at the $40 per month premium.
It’s not all bad news, though. In addition to the new channels, YouTube TV will also be debuting in six new markets: Lexington, Kentucky; Dayton, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; Richmond, Virginia; Mobile, Alabama; and Syracuse, New York. YouTube TV estimates that it’s currently available in 85 percent of U.S. households, although its availability in rural areas is still hit-or-miss.