Published: Thu, April 06, 2017
Science | By Kerry Wheeler

YouTube's streaming TV service is finally live

YouTube's streaming TV service is finally live

YouTube TV's lineup covers more than 50 channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, Fox Sports networks, and Comcast SportsNet. At launch, the service is available in five cities including NY and Los Angeles.

At launch, YouTube TV will be available for streaming via Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TVs, as well as Android and iOS devices.

Separate from YouTube Red, YouTube's premium service that features content from prominent YouTubers, YouTube TV is a standalone app that's focused on a mobile first experience. YouTube's live TV-streaming service can be accessed by users in five USA locations today: New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia. But unlike those options, YouTube TV is not available in any markets where it can't offer all four major broadcast networks. More individual cities are planned before a nationwide rollout later this year.

YouTube also announced today that subscribers would have access to six new networks at no charge: BBC America, BBC World News, AMC, Sundance, FC, and WE tv.

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For an additional monthly fee, subscribers can add Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus, with Shudder and Sundance Now launching soon.

As an offering, YouTube TV covers most of what people are watching on TV with a few exceptions.

Time Warner and Viacom channels like CNN, TNT, MTV, Comedy Central and HBO aren't included. Bundlers like YouTube need to make tough decisions about which networks to include, otherwise they'll end up with the same sky-high prices that are making cable less attractive. No other streaming service has managed to pull this off seamlessly, so if YouTube's tech is as robust as the early reviews claim, this could be the real game-changer.

Streaming services have had so many limitations that they seem more likely to appeal to consumers who don't watch much TV or to cord-cutters who have already ended cable TV or satellite subscriptions. Ad revenue will also be used to support the creators of regular YouTube videos shown on the streaming service.

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