Google introduced a new YouTube TV OTT service yesterday that will offer a streaming channel line-up with some interesting features, taking on traditional pay-TV providers. A YouTube TV OTT service is the latest so called virtual MVPD service, which offers a comparable pay-TV service, but delivered over-the-top and generally less expensive than cable, IPTV, and DBS services.
“We’re bringing the best of the YouTube experience to live TV,” said Christian Oestlien, Product Management Director, YouTube in a blog post announcing the service. “To do this, we’ve worked closely with our network and affiliate partners to evolve TV for the way we watch today.”
YouTube TV will be priced at $35/month and offer approximately 40+ channels, including ESPN, Showtime, USA, Fox News, and Bravo, among others. Perhaps most interesting is YouTube TV has five local broadcast networks on board, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and CW, although it’s unlikely they have rights for every DMA/market.
The YouTube OTT service adds some other good features to the mix as well including:
- Cloud DVR – YouTube says there will be no storage limit, but cloud DVR usage generally has channel/network restrictions.
- Multi-Screen Support – Includes the usual suspects of iOS and Android devices, as well as streaming players and connected TVs.
- Multiple Streams/Accounts – Includes three simultaneous streams and up to six profiles per one account.
- Regional Sports Networks – Includes Fox and Comcast RSNs (in select markets).
YouTube TV joins a somewhat crowded virtual MVPD market, which already has competing offers from AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW, DISH’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and a forthcoming version from Hulu. A relative newcomer, fuboTV also has a virtual MVPD offer.
An exact launch date was not offered. “YouTube TV will be available soon in the largest U.S. markets and will quickly expand to cover more cities across the country,” says Oestlien in the blog post.
Interested subscribers can enter their email and zip code at the YouTube TV site to be notified of launch details.