4 Things To Know Before You Sign Up for YouTube TV

4 Things To Know Before You Sign Up for YouTube TV

If you’re tired of paying a big cable bill each month, you may find that cutting the cord and subscribing to YouTube TV is a great money-saving solution in 2023.

This live TV streaming service is one of the options for people looking to leave the cable company behind for good. Other options include Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV.

And though you may have seen headlines on highly-publicized disputes with companies like Roku and Disney in recent years, you’ll be happy to know that YouTube TV has reached agreements with both for 2023 and beyond.

I subscribed to YouTube TV to evaluate its channel library, user experience and app performance. In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the popular streaming service which is owned by Google.

April 2023 Update:

  • The 2023 pricing for NFL Sunday Ticket was revealed on April 11, 2023. YouTube TV subscribers can save $100 by opting into the package by June 6.
  • As of April 14, 2023, YouTube TV is offering a 21-day free trial period for new customers. YouTube TV has been changing its free trial period length frequently in recent months. A 14-day trial period was the standard in recent months, but it has been as short as 7 or 10 days in the past.
  • YouTube TV raised its price from $65 to $73 per month effective March 16, 2023 for new customers. Existing customers began to see this price increase in the April billing cycle.
  • A limited-time promotion offers new customers $10 off per month for the first three billing cycles. That’s a potential savings of $30.
  • YouTube TV removed MLB Network from its channel offering on January 31 amid a carriage dispute.
  • YouTube TV added 3 new channels in January 2023.
  • As part of its “Internet Freedom” campaign, T-Mobile is offering customers who subscribe to both its wireless phone service and home internet the opportunity to get 50{38557cf0372cd7f85c91e7e33cff125558f1277b36a8edbab0100de866181896} off YouTube TV for one year. That means you could pay just $36.50 per month for YouTube TV for 12 months.

What Is YouTube TV? Team Clark Reviews the Live TV Streaming Service

For $73 per month, a YouTube TV subscription provides access to many of the most popular broadcast and cable channels. There is no contract or cable box required. You can stream content live or on demand from your television, phone, tablet or computer.

Though the price has increased significantly over the last few years, money expert Clark Howard still maintains a YouTube TV subscription for his family.

“What interests me about YouTube TV is the unlimited DVR and the versatility with how many people can be watching at the same time and how many individual accounts you can have,” Clark says.

Team Clark has tested YouTube TV and the other major live TV streaming services. Read on to learn what you need to know before you sign up!

Table of Contents: 

1. Channel Lineup 

When you’re trying to choose a cable or satellite TV alternative, the list of channels is probably the most important factor.

One of the best features of YouTube TV is that is provides local affiliate channels for ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in most areas of the country. You’ll want to visit the website to confirm local channel availability by entering your ZIP code.

Another plus is that YouTube TV’s channel lineup features more sports and news channels than most of its competitors. However, you may notice that many regional sports networks (RSNs) are no longer included with a subscription. NBC Sports RSNs are available in select markets, but Bally Sports channels are not available.

Team Clark has assembled a searchable list of YouTube TV’s channel offerings.


Add-On Packages

If you’re willing to spend more, you can add more channels by purchasing optional packages.

In addition to add-on channel packages, YouTube TV also provides the opportunity to sign up for premium subscription services within its ecosystem.

For example, you can opt into paying $15 per month for an HBO Max subscription as a part of your monthly YouTube TV bill. That content would be available to stream on your YouTube TV app alongside the content from your base subscription.

Here’s a sampling of the premium channels or services that are available through YouTube TV:

  • HBO
  • HBO Max
  • Cinemax
  • Showtime
  • Shudder
  • Hallmark Movies Now
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA League Pass

YouTube TV’s Spanish Plan

In May 2022, YouTube TV introduced a new monthly subscription option for Spanish language content.

The Spanish Plan is priced at $35 per month. It includes access to more than 28 Spanish language networks that range from sports to news and entertainment.

The package, which is sold separately from the $73 base package, includes unlimited cloud DVR and up to six user accounts.

YouTube TV Spanish Plan channels
Spanish Plan channels via YouTube TV

NFL Sunday Ticket

Beginning with the 2023 NFL season, YouTube TV and YouTube will be the exclusive streaming home for NFL Sunday Ticket.

This popular football channel package offers viewers a chance to stream out-of-market NFL games on Sunday afternoons during the football regular season. (You’ll still need access to local CBS and FOX broadcasts for in-market Sunday afternoon games, as well as Prime Video, NBC and ESPN for Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night Football broadcasts, respectively.)

You don’t have to be a YouTube TV subscriber to pay for the channels, but there is a pricing incentive built in for subscribers:

Package Price Through June 6, 2023 Price After June 6, 2023
NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV $249 $349
NFL Sunday Ticket + NFL RedZone on YouTube TV $289 $389
NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube $349 $449
NFL Sunday Ticket + NFL RedZone on YouTube $389 $489

2. Cloud DVR 

If you’re worried about losing your DVR functionality when you cut the cord, you’ll be happy to know that YouTube TV offers a DVR experience that rivals the very best cable experience.

YouTube TV’s cloud DVR storage is unlimited and requires no extra fees. That means you can keep as many recordings of shows, movies or sports games as you’d like.

YouTube TV is one of the only streaming services to offer unlimited cloud storage space for its DVR. Other services limit the amount of cloud DVR storage you can access, and some even upcharge for the privilege.

Some other perks to YouTube TV’s cloud DVR storage include:

  • No limit on simultaneous recordings
  • The ability to stream your library wherever you go
  • Personal library space for each account
  • Recordings kept for nine months

The video below demonstrates how to navigate the service’s cloud DVR and some of the other features, including its live TV guide, which looks a lot like what you get with cable.

3. Supported Devices

One of the biggest perks of cutting the cord and opting into a service like YouTube TV is the variety of ways in which you can enjoy the content.

Not only can you move seamlessly from device to device, but you can also take your recorded content with you thanks to the portability of the cloud DVR. So you can take your favorite movies and shows with you on vacation.

You can watch YouTube TV on your phone, tablet or computer. But many of us still like to enjoy entertainment on a television from the comfort of our couches.

YouTube TV has you covered in that area, too.

The streaming service’s list of supported devices for TV includes:

  • Apple TV (4th generation) and Apple TV 4K
  • Amazon Fire TV products
  • Chromecast with Google TV devices
  • Android TV (Note: TVs running a mobile version of Android may not be supported)
  • Vizio SmartCast TVs
  • Samsung & LG smart TVs (2016 models and newer)
  • HiSense TVs
  • Xbox: Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One X, Xbox One S, and Xbox One
  • PS5 and PS4
  • TiVo Stream 4K
  • Roku

After a lengthy contract dispute in 2021, YouTube TV is once again fully available on Roku devices. You can read more about that renewed relationship here.

YouTube TV on Chromecast with Google TV
YouTube TV on Chromecast with Google TV

4. Multiple Streams 

Another big concern for cord cutters is ensuring that the entire household is able to enjoy watching television the same way that they have with cable.

YouTube TV shines in this area as well — without charging you for a box to use on each TV.

Each household can watch up to three streams simultaneously.

And there are six accounts included with a YouTube TV membership. So everyone in the household can get their own unique cloud DVR storage spaces and personal settings for consumption.

Here’s how YouTube TV stacks up against some of its competitors in this area:

Pros and Cons of YouTube TV 

Pros Cons
Great overall channel lineup filled with sports and news Monthly price has increased to $73 after being as low as $35.
Unlimited cloud DVR storage is included. Many regional sports networks are unavailable.
Up to 6 user accounts and 3 simultaneous streams Roku users temporarily had difficulties with YouTube TV because of a (now settled) contract dispute. 

Bottom Line: There is a lot to like about YouTube TV.

Even though the service has steadily increased its price over the last few years, it still offers cord-cutters one of the best live TV streaming experiences at a price that’s still lower than most cable bills.

The unlimited cloud DVR is a real bright spot for people who want to watch traditional television shows but have a schedule that doesn’t allow much flexibility for being in front of the TV at a certain time.

And the fact that you can silo personalized DVR storage spaces for individuals within a household makes it really easy to separate adult content from kids’ and vice versa.

If you’re thinking about signing up for YouTube TV, take advantage of the free trial first. That will give you a chance to feel out the product before handing over any cash. If you’re not sold, just make sure to cancel the trial before it expires so that your credit card is not charged.

Have you tried YouTube TV? Share your experience in our Clark.com Community!