Google’s YouTube TV service has rolled out a major expansion, making the full range of its services available to almost the entire country.
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- YouTube TV originally launched in 2017.
- At the time, it was only available in five of the country’s largest TV markets: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
- The service has expanded regularly since then, adding more markets along the way.
- Before the latest expansion it was reaching what Google called the “top 100” markets.
- On Jan. 23, 2019, Google announced it would add an additional “95 markets.”
- In what it is billing as a “nationwide” rollout, YouTube TV can now reach 90 percent of the U.S. with local and cable channels, according to a banner on the service’s website.
- YouTube TV is a streaming cable TV offering, with major cable networks such as CNN, MSNBC, TBS, ESPN and more available to watch.
- In addition, the service offers streaming access to local TV stations, including local newscasts and syndicated programming.
- Local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox streams are now available in 90 percent of the country.
- By offering local stations, the service closely mirrors cable offerings, which typically include local stations without requiring an antenna to grab the signals from over the air.
- In most cases, cable providers (and streaming services like YouTube TV) pay “retransmission” fees to local stations for the right to rebroadcast their signals.
- Signing retransmission agreements with local stations in each market was likely one of the main reasons the service has been rolled out based on markets.
- YouTube TV originally cost $35 a month, but now costs $40.
- Additional sports and entertainment networks, including Starz, can be added at a la carte prices.
- The service can be watched via desktop or mobile browsers, mobile apps or most smart TVs and popular streaming boxes such as Roku.
- YouTube TV has continued to expand its cable network offerings though exact offerings vary by market.
- However, the service still missing some notable names in cable TV — including Discovery Networks’ Discovery Channel, HGTV and Food Network and more.