YouTube TV, Google’s entry in the crowded market of live TV streaming services, is now available in ten more U.S. metros, the company announced this morning. In nine of the ten markets, the service will include the live local feeds from all four major broadcasters – ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. The ability to watch live television from major broadcasters has been one of YouTube TV’s differentiated features since its debut, as it chose to go forgo nationwide availability in favor of a promise to deliver broadcast channels in the markets it serves.
Initially, the service was available only in top U.S. metros including L.A., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay area.
As YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl explained in February when the service was first unveiled, the goal is to offer “comprehensive national coverage with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox all included” on YouTube TV, so users wouldn’t have to miss out on those “can’t miss” live TV moments, he said.
The company in June said at the VidCon industry conference that it would soon triple its footprint with launches in 10 more metros. While access to major broadcast channels is one of YouTube TV’s bigger draws, the service has been expanding its cable lineup as well since its April debut. In total, YouTube TV now offers nearly 50 networks.
YouTube TV is challenging services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Hulu’s Live TV service in the live TV streaming space.
Besides access to broadcast channels, YouTube TV’s key features are a low price point ($35/mo); an unlimited cloud DVR; six accounts per household; three concurrent streams; access to YouTube Red original programming; and support for Android; iOS; Apple TV via AirPlay; and Chromecast, in addition to desktop.
Because of all the live TV options on the market today, new tools are emerging that aim to help consumers pick a streaming TV service, like Suppose.tv or Bundler, for instance. The company promises that more U.S. markets will go live in the future.