YouTube TV channels and networks, cost, devices and more

Youtube TV app on Apple TV home screen
(Image credit: Future)

YouTube TV is for anyone who wants to cut the cord and get rid of cable TV. It's a popular option among the best cable TV alternatives thanks to an extensive lineup, unlimited DVR cap and intuitive design. YouTube TV lets you get out of that expensive cable contract but still watch live sports, news and entertainment.

Those looking to replace cable should be happy with the default set of YouTube TV channels. As our YouTube TV review notes, the extensive lineup of channels is one of the service's strongest features. That set of channels is a major reason why it performed well in our YouTube TV vs. Sling TV face-off.

And when comparing YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV, it (again) fares very well. That's why YouTube TV was a frontrunner in Tom's Guide senior editor Henry T. Casey's quest to cut the cord.

The service is constantly evolving. YouTube TV is set to make a big upgrade this summer, though a recent interface change has some users up in arms. The service also recently added seven new channels, but YouTube TV just lost another sports channel.

So what channels can you watch, what devices support YouTube TV and how does it stack up to competing cable-replacement services? We've put together the master guide on YouTube TV, how its programming and price stack up, and what makes it special. 

What is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV is a live TV service that uses YouTube's clean and straightforward interface. And while it's not the cheapest option, it's one of our favorite options. 

We've ranked YouTube TV highly in our personal tests to try and figure out what services we want to use. We're currently testing it against Sling TV, to see which buffers the least often.

Youtube TV channels: This is us

Available on smart TVs, streaming boxes, computers and mobile devices, it includes local network broadcast channels, basic cable networks and original web shows from YouTube Red.

Channels on Youtube TV's home screen

YouTube TV just added improved integration with Android TV, so the content you stream on the app now appears in the Channels row on the home screen. This added integration feels like a long time coming, since Google owns YouTube and Android TV.

YouTube TV cost: What's the price?

The service now costs $73 per month, following a YouTube TV price hike that goes into effect in April 2023. That's $3 more than its main competitor, Hulu with Live TV, which offers fewer channels than YouTube TV (though Hulu has its own exclusive original shows). Subscribers angrily pointed to that price hike when YouTube TV's NBA Finals glitch interrupted the final minute of the series.

There's a $9.99 per month upgrade, though, which adds on Dolby Digital support, 4K, offline downloads, and unlimited simultaneous streams.

But even YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV's price hikes are far from where cable prices currently sit. They are usually timed to content additions. When YouTube TV got Turner channels in 2018, it went up by $5, and the 2019 addition of local channels and Discovery channels saw a price jump of $10. 

Could we see a more affordable tier in the future? YouTube TV, according to a blog post, could add other options (making it more similar to the customizable Sling TV), as the company notes, "We are working to build new flexible models for YouTube TV users."

You can try out YouTube TV for seven days before you're charged. And because there's no contract for the service, you can cancel at any time.

YouTube TV is customizable if you pay for premium extras. Adding on Showtime costs $11 per month currently, while Starz is $9 a month. Optional sports add-ons include NBA League Pass and MLB TV and are a bit pricier.

YouTube TV channels: What do you get?

The YouTube TV channels list includes more than 100 live TV channels, based on your region, plus content from the YouTube Originals channel. Your options will depend on your region, though, as New Yorkers get a directory of 59 networks, including local network affiliates.

In the end of September 2021, YouTube TV almost lost all of the NBCUniversal channels (14+ networks including NBC, USA and more), but the two managed to eke out a deal (after the original deadline was extended). Disney-owned networks, including ABC, ESPN, Freeform and FX left on December 18, when YouTube TV and Disney failed to re-negotiate a new contract. Those channels came back on Dec. 19.

YouTube TV used to have a huge gap — the channels from ViacomCBS. Fortunately, that changed last year with the addition of eight ViacomCBS channels (BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1). And more were added in March 2021, including MTV2, TeenNick and NickToons.

All of the youtube tv channels

YouTube TV's more popular channels include AMC, Bravo, FX and USA. It also offers a wide array of 24-hour news networks, including BBC World News, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC. YouTube TV's latest channels include CNN, TNT, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. 

Along with YouTube TV's April 2019 price hike, the streaming service added 10 new channels including Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and MotorTrend. Oprah Winfrey's OWN network is coming later this year.

Baseball fans will be able to add MLB.TV for games outside their market, but only the $29.99 per month or $129.99 for the full season options. MLB Network, though, fell out of the YouTube TV lineup. Yes, YouTube TV won't have the $109 per season for a single team package.

To see what networks are available in your area, you'll need to pretend that you're signing up here. Before you enter your credit card information, the site will show you the channels specific to your region.

Here's the full list of YouTube TV channels, before factoring additional options and localization, updated to re-add the Disney-owned channels that disappeared when YouTube TV and Disney failed to resolve their contract renewal in time.

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • ACCN
  • AMC
  • Adult Swim
  • Animal Planet
  • BBC
  • BBC World News
  • BET
  • BTN
  • Bravo
  • CBS Sports
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • CNBC World
  • CNN
  • Cartoon Network
  • Cheddar Big News
  • Cheddar Business
  • Cheddar News
  • Comedy Central
  • Cozi TV
  • Discovery
  • Disney
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • E!
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • FOX Business
  • FOX News Channel
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • Food Network
  • Fox Sports
  • Freeform
  • FX
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • Golf Channel
  • HGTV
  • HLN
  • IFC
  • Investigation Discovery
  • LAFC
  • Local Now
  • MLB Game of the week
  • Motortrend
  • MTV
  • MyNetworkTV
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports
  • NBC Universo
  • NECN
  • NESN
  • NFL Network
  • NatGeo Wild
  • National Geographic
  • Newsy
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Network
  • Olympics Channel
  • Orlando City
  • Oxygen
  • POP
  • SEC ESPN Network
  • SNY
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Sounders FC
  • StartTV
  • SundanceTV
  • SyFy
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • TYT
  • Tastemade
  • Telemundo
  • The CW
  • Travel Channel
  • TruTV
  • TV Land
  • USA
  • Universal Kids
  • VH1
  • WE TV
  • YouTube Originals
  • tastemade

YouTube TV special features

YouTube TV's 5.1-channel audio has been slow to roll out to devices — and only recently landed on the Apple TV and Fire TV sticks and other devices.

Earlier this year, YouTube TV began to roll out multiview, and now we have a better idea how YouTube TV multview works — after more options were added for channels and kinds of content. 

YouTube TV in 4K is here — but it costs more

Right in time for those looking to watch the Tokyo Olympics online, YouTube TV has debuted multiple 4K streams for NBC, the Olympic Channel and the Golf Channel. This costs $19.99 per month extra, but YouTube TV will be discounting the first year of payments down to a half-off price of $9.99 per month.

YouTube TV accounts and simultaneous streams

Each YouTube TV subscription allows for up to six separate user accounts, so each viewer can create a unique profile for customized suggestions and private DVR libraries. Up to three accounts can stream content simultaneously.

YouTube TV: Where is it available?

While it took a while to roll out around the country, YouTube TV is now available in every television market in the U.S. This expansion completed with Glendive, Montana, according to a tweet from YouTube TV.

youtube tv add on channels

YouTube TV devices and app

You can watch YouTube TV on smart TVs with Android TV, and models from Hisense, LG, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Vizio. It's also on Chromecast and the PS5, PS4, PS4 Pro and Xbox One consoles. 

The YouTube TV app is also available on Android, iOS, laptops and desktops, as well as Amazon's Fire TV devices. Plus, the YouTube TV iPhone app is about to leapfrog YouTube's app. YouTube TV apps have also been on on Apple TV boxes and Roku TVs and other Roku devices, including the Express, Ultra and Stick.

The big news right now is not good for Roku. Not only did a Roku update break YouTube TV, but an inter-company spat could make things a hell of a lot worse. You know how the YouTube TV app is not in the Roku Channel Store? There's a chance the YouTube Roku app may follow. The countdown is ticking away for Dec. 9, when the contract expires (the apps will stay on devices that have already downloaded it).

more youtube tv channels

Can I get YouTube TV on my smart TV?

TV sets running the Android TV operating system can download a YouTube TV app. Select LG, Samsung, Vizio, Sharp, Hisense and Sony smart TVs from 2014 and 2015 should be getting YouTube TV "soon," according to YouTube. For a full list of supported devices, click here.

Can you watch live TV on YouTube TV? How about local channels?

Yes. YouTube TV's major function is its ability to serve up livestreams of cable TV channels. In New York City, for example, YouTube TV offers a selection of local networks (ABC 7, CBS 2, FOX 5 and NBC 4), while excluding PBS.

youtube tv's live content listings

YouTube TV's Home tab shows you live TV options, as well as suggests top picks based on your preferences. For complete listings, click on the Live tab to see what's streaming now, and what's up next. Hovering over a show or event shows you a preview of the content.

What sports does YouTube TV offer?

YouTube TV offers a fair lineup of sports networks, with four ESPN channels, The Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, The Tennis Channel, the SEC Network, NESN and the Olympic channel. Annoyingly, YouTube TV is losing SNY, a north-east regional sports network.

YouTube TV just announced its new Sports Plus add-on package. It costs $10.99 per month and includes NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, GOLTV, Fox Soccer Plus, MAVTV, TVG for horse racing and the Stadium network as well. YouTube TV also got beIN Sports networks in the Sports Plus add-on.

As mentioned above, FOX Regional Sports Networks, and the YES Network, are leaving YouTube TV because of a contract negotiations dispute. 

YouTube TV DVR

One of YouTube TV's most prominent features is its ability to save programming to its DVR library. To record a show, click its "+" button. YouTube TV will begin recording if the show is live, or save the show later if it has yet to come on.

This used to be one of the biggest ways that YouTube TV stood out. But then Hulu with Live TV copied this feature to the T. Both services keep your recordings for nine months, and then delete them. DirecTV Stream deletes recordings after 90 days.

youtube tv's family sharing plan

Even better: You can record as much programming as you like, as there's no storage size cap on what you save. The one limit you have to observe is that each program is deleted after nine months.

YouTube TV reviews

Tom's Guide writer Kelly Woo gave YouTube TV a good review, giving the service credit for an unlimited DVR, local channels and its ease of use. Wired's Davey Alba agreed, but noted that YouTube TV's channel selection may not feature enough content for everyone, and gave it the backhanded compliment of being "fun, because television is fun."

The YouTube TV mobile app drew praise from Ben Popper at The Verge, who also appreciated the unlimited amount of storage in its cloud-based DVR. Mashable's Raymond Wong lamented that the streaming service forces you to "give up go-to channels like CNN, Comedy Central, TBS and Adult Swim."

YouTube TV free trial

When you sign up for YouTube TV, you get a free seven-day trial, provided the Google account that you're using has never been used for the service before.

How does YouTube TV compare to Sling TV and other cable replacement services?

YouTube TV's clean interface is one of the best around, but its unlimited DVR cap isn't as unique as it used to be. It's just Sling that can't touch that metric. And while we love YouTube TV's growing channel list, its pricing may now be a sore spot for many. 

The new $73 a month price puts YouTubeTV right above the $70 Hulu With Live TV and below the $75 (before regional sports fees) Fubo TV. Hulu includes Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, while fuboTV has a ton of international sports channels that nobody else has.

Sling TV, with more than 30 channels for $40 per month, is a lot cheaper. For more details check out our big YouTube TV vs. Sling face-off, to see how these services fare against one another.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • NavySubmariner
    I love YouTube TV. yes, there's channels I wish they had, but that's like other services. I had vue, but they were missing channels I wanted as well. However, YouTube TV won me over due to their locals. Vue doesn't offer locals for Virginia Beach, YouTube TV does. Also, the unlimited amount of recording is a plus. Also, Vue keeps deleting channels, reshuffles its packaging, and increasing in cost. Anyone who makes the argument for Sling needs to think twice about their support for it. Yes sling has cheaper packages, but if you want both orange and blue, it is more than YouTube's TV package. The add-ons are rediculous for Sling and it's actually more expensive then VUE.
  • boogiman16
    I enjoy YouTube TV. The selling points for me were the interface, and the fact that the Boston channels include NESN, which I have not found on any other services.

    The one drawback is the refresh rate. When I watch sports, I can really see the trail of the football and puck. Kind of bugs me but I'm hoping it will get better.
  • nicholsmichaeld
    we have been happy with the streaming service since starting last year. we picked up a roku premiere plus so we could stream everything from one device. the app for roku however was delayed a couple of times until finally released about six weeks back. what i found using the roku was that the video quality was unwatchable. the video was very jittery, jerky, not smooth at all. the built in app on the samsung worked perfectly though?

    i tried searching online for others with the issue found nothing. posted to several forums and nothing until last week. another with the same exact issue. could not watch on his tv using the roku to stream youtube tv. the PROBLEM was all to do with HDR. the roku default setting is to choose display type automatically e.g. 4K 60fps HDR which is what we have. there is where the bug lies. for some reason HDR via roku for youtube tv messes up the video portion.

    Solution - go into the roku settings. find display and then remove the check from auto select and choose the setting below that for your tv but one without HDR. after doing that youtube tv video plays as expected. hopefully someone will fix this bug soon.

    samsung & roku owners if video problems that's why. fyi the built in youtube tv app on the samsung has worked perfectly from day one. fyi neither youtube or roku support were able to help on this bug let alone acknowledge it even existed. forums have always been a great resource for information now more than ever IMHO.
  • Michael_James
    What about DIY, GAC, AHC, ID, HGTV, History, Discovery, Viceland., etc?
  • bcerickson1
    Am I able to extend the recording time for sporting events? to allow for overtimes and sudden death playoff's that will extend beyond the regularly scheduled times?
  • acantelmo314
    CC only worked on my laptop, couldn't get it to work on my 2017 LG smart TV
  • acantelmo314
    CC only worked on my laptop. Could not get it to work on my 2017 LG smart TV.
  • juneholmes5
    Youtube , Dirdctv Now , PlayStation Vue and any and all the rest will continuously raise their prices as they add more and more. After awhile , the prices will be no different than Satellite and Cable. I for one refuse to use these streaming packages.
  • stevenjacks
    Hey, at least Net Neutrality will keep the corporations from messing around with the speed (which now means quality) of all this new digital service!

    Oh, wait.
  • fcherno
    The YouTube TV app isn't available on the Amazon Fire TV box because of an ongoing feud between Amazon and Google. So keep that in mind.