YouTube TV started out as a much cheaper alternative to cable and satellite TV, but the ever-increasing number of channels has raised the price to $65 per month. Thankfully, YouTube TV has now introduced a cheaper alternative.
TV services are often criticized for bundling together many different channels in one package at a high price, when most people would prefer picking just a few channels and paying less — called “À la carte” television. Broadcasters usually make that business model impossible, as bundling channels together gives the less-popular channels more potential viewership (and ad revenue), but there are a few options. Sling TV offers smaller TV bundles, and streaming services like Netflix or HBO Max can be subscribed independently of each other.
YouTube TV has now revealed its attempt at the de-bundling idea, which allows you to subscribe to paid add-on channels without the base plan. That means you lose out on channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, Nickelodeon, and NBC, which are included in the usual $65/mo base plan, but you can pick between the premium channels for individual fees. That includes HBO Max, NBA League Pass and MLB.TV for sports, EPIX, Cinemax, Showtime, ViX+, and others.
Most premium channels are available as standalone streaming services, but there is some value in having all of them integrated in one place — especially when YouTube TV’s app works well and available on many platforms. Roku has offered a similar experience on its media players through the Roku Channel since 2019.
Even though YouTube TV’s new plan isn’t quite the pick-and-choose dream that would make premium TV more appealing, it’s great to have it as an option.