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YouTube TV adds channels and raises price—you can’t opt out of either change


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YouTube TV raises price from $40 to $50 for new and existing customers.

A person's hand holding an Apple TV remote in front of a TV screen displaying the app icons for YouTube and other services.
Getty Images | Onfokus

YouTube launched its competitor to cable TV two years ago, charging $35 a month, but it's now over 40 percent more expensive.


Google raised the price of YouTube TV to $40 in March 2018, and yesterday announced it's raising the price again, this time to $49.99. In both cases, the Google-owned streaming TV service paired the price hike with extra channels, but subscribers have to pay the new, higher price whether they want the new channels or not.


"To keep bringing you the best service possible, we are also updating our membership pricing," YouTube TV told subscribers in an email yesterday. "The price for new and existing members will be $49.99/month."


The new price is effective immediately for people who sign up for new YouTube TV service, Google said. Existing subscribers will pay the higher rate "in their subsequent billing cycle after May 13."


The price is higher still for customers who get billed through Apple—they'll pay $54.99/month to account for the fees Apple charges distributors. But you can order service on YouTube's website to avoid the $5 markup.

Discovery, Oprah among new channels

The new channels added to YouTube TV this week are Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and MotorTrend. Later this year, the service will add OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.


"This means that you'll be able to follow along on the adventures of Sig Hansen and Captain Keith Colburn on Deadliest Catch, watch as Drew and Jonathan Scott create dream homes on Property Brothers, and celebrate as Randy Fenoli and the Kleinfeld crew help brides in Say Yes to the Dress," the company blog post said.


For an extra $6 a month, customers can add the newly available EPIX channel. Other premium channels such as Showtime and Starz were already available as add-ons.


In all, YouTube TV includes more than 70 channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, AMC, ESPN, CNN, and BBC America. You can see the full list at the service's website; enter your ZIP code to find out which local news and sports channels are included.


TV providers generally blame the rising cost of programming for their price hikes. Prices keep rising significantly whether you subscribe to a cable or satellite package or a streaming equivalent.


AT&T this month is raising the price of its DirecTV Now streaming service by $10 a month, with packages starting at $50. DirecTV had already raised prices for satellite customers in January.


Comcast hiked its "Broadcast TV" and "Regional Sports Network" fees again on January 1, raising the price of cable TV even for customers under contract. Charter has similarly been raising its cable TV prices.


YouTube TV still has an advantage over cable and satellite in that it doesn't include tons of extra fees that raise the price well above the advertised rates. As Google notes in a support article on the new pricing, "The updated pricing will continue to include DVR with unlimited storage, up to 6 accounts per household, and 3 concurrent streams," while "No additional fees are required for broadcast, HD, set-top box, DVR, or otherwise."

Hulu's live TV service starts at $45 a month. Sling TV, which has fewer channels in the base package but more à la carte options, starts at $25 a month.


Source: YouTube TV adds channels and raises price—you can’t opt out of either change (Ars Technica)

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