Relax – YouTube TV Will Not Replace Cable

YouTube TVGoogle announced this week its new live TV service; YouTube TV. Christian Oestlian, Google Product Management Director, said that YouTube TV has been “designed for the YouTube generation – those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want without commitments.”

The service will cost $35 USD a month and will include live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, Fox and more than 40 other network. Furthermore, YouTube TV will offer a cloud DVR and access to YouTube Red Originals.

There are some significant holes in YouTube TV services which is why I’m happy to be sticking to my traditional cable TV.

Limited Channels

For starters, YouTube TV has little over 40 channels, and these do not include popular channels such as Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Additionally, there’s no Discovery Channel or TNT or Cartoon Network. YouTube TV actually offers significantly less choice than traditional pay TV.

Limited Access

Furthermore, YouTube TV will only be available in markets where its existing cable partners have affiliates. Those living in proximity of major U.S. urban centres will not have access to it.


YouTube TV has a monthly fee of $35 a month and offers live television content for more that 40 TV networks. How does this compare to regular cable TV? Cable TV offers over 45 channels for an average of $29.95 a month – offering more for less.

What YouTube TV does offer is the ability to record and watch shows after they have been aired. Although cable TV may not offer this, with the rise of free on demand services, such as BBC iPlayer and All 4, the ability to record shows is becoming less and less necessary.

Something else that YouTube’s new service offers which cable does not is YouTube Red. However, I have never heard of it until today, have you? It’s basically YouTube with no ads, offline access and a couple original shows. The subscription service seems to have had little success; the content is limited and who would pay for what they can already get for free?

YouTube TV is not the future; it’s just another portable Freeview box – similar to Sky Go, which has been around since 2006. To me, YouTube TV just looks like a digital version of a mediocre cable package.