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YouTube TV Review 2023: Plans, Cost, and More

According to CableTV.com's experts, YouTube TV is the best overall live TV streaming service out there. Read our review for all the reasons why.

Editor's choice for live TV streaming

YouTube TV

Price: $72.99/mo.

Channels: 100+

Cloud DVR storage: Unlimited

Free trial: Varies

Plan
Price
Channels
Download speeds
Details
YouTube TV
$72.99/mo.
100+
--

View plan

YouTube TV Spanish plan
$34.99/mo.
28+
--

View plan

YouTube TV + NFL SUNDAY TICKET
$72.99/mo. + $349.00/yr.†
100+
--

View plan

YouTube TV + Frontier internet
$10.00/mo. bundle discount
$112.98–$217.98/mo.*
100+
500–5,000 Mbps

View plan

Data effective as of post date. Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
† When bundled with YouTube TV ($72.99/mo.). Get an additional $50.00 off when signing up before 9/19/23.

Is YouTube TV good?

We think YouTube TV is an excellent live TV streaming service—in fact, we’ve named it CableTV.com’s Best Overall service for 2023. For $72.99/mo., you get 100+ cable and local channels plus an unlimited cloud DVR.

YouTube TV’s biggest advantage over other streaming TV services is familiarity. It’s close to the same YouTube interface you’ve been using for years but with a few new twists and more popular channels than other live TV streaming services. (It’s still the undisputed leader in cat videos, of course.)

YouTube TV has one of the fattest channel lineups in live TV streaming, as well as the easiest user interface. It’s not the cheapest live TV streaming service, but we think YouTube TV is worth it for its features and performance.

Pros

  • 100+ channels
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage

Cons

  • Missing some regional sports networks
  • No A&E, Lifetime, or VICE

Need better internet speeds for streaming?

If you have multiple devices in your home using the internet simultaneously, or your internet speeds just aren’t up to snuff, you may not be getting the best streaming TV experience.

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YouTube TV deals and promotions

You can get YouTube TV free for a month when you sign up for a Verizon Mobile or 5G Home Internet plan.

Frontier customers can save $10 a month for the first 12 months of their subscription when they bundle Frontier internet with YouTube TV. That’s a $120 savings over the course of the first year. Find out more about Frontier internet.

YouTube TV subscribers can get $50 off NFL Sunday Ticket when signing up through September 19, 2023.*

YouTube TV plans and pricing

Plan Price Live channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
YouTube TV $72.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plans
Spanish Plan $34.99/mo. 28+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plans
YouTube TV + Frontier internet
$10.00/mo. bundle discount
$112.98–$217.98/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV, depending on your area, offers 85 to over 100 live TV streaming channels, including cable favorites, local channels, and sports networks.

It’s a streamlined plan that doesn’t feature filler channels (music channels suck TBH) like cable and satellite TV providers.

YouTube TV also offers a Spanish-language plan that costs $24.99 a month for the first six months, after which the monthly price goes up to $34.99.

This standalone plan doesn’t require a subscription to regular YouTube TV and features over 28 Spanish-language channels, including ESPN Deportes, Discovery en Español, and Fox Deportes.

YouTube TV on smart TV

YouTube TV home page on a smart TV. Image credit: CableTV.com

YouTube TV vs. the competition

Service Price Live channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
YouTube TV $72.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plans
DIRECTV STREAM $64.99–$154.99/mo. 75–150+ 3–unlimited 20 hrs. View plans
Read DIRECTV STREAM Review
fuboTV $74.99–$94.99/mo. 140–215+ 10 1,000 hrs. View plans
Read fuboTV Review
Philo $25.00/mo. 70+ 3 Unlimited (for 1 yr.) View plans
Read Philo Review
Sling TV $40.00–$55.00/mo. 30–50+ 1–4 50 hrs. View plans
Read Sling TV Review
Vidgo $69.99–$99.99/mo. 110–150+ 3 N/A View plans
Read Vidgo Review

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We gave YouTube TV our Editor’s Choice award the past two years because of its competitive channel count, reasonable price, and killer cloud DVR (no other streaming service compares in terms of DVR storage except for Philo, which offers a niche channel lineup).

Like we said, we still really like Hulu + Live TV for its on-demand content, decent channel count, and reasonable price. Check out our Best Live TV Streaming Services page to read up more on the pros and cons of each service.

YouTube TV channels

YouTube TV’s mix of live TV streaming entertainment, sports, and news channels doesn’t look much different than a basic cable package—until you notice the lack of filler.

There’s no cable-package bloat like audio-only music or shopping networks (except for QVC), just a tight lineup of popular channels like Comedy Central, Paramount Network, MTV, AMC, Cartoon Network, ESPN, Disney Channel, FS1, FX, Syfy, TNT, USA Network, etc. YouTube TV trims the cable fat nicely.

YouTube TV also features local channels carrying ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Along with DIRECTV STREAM, it’s the only live TV streaming service that carries PBS and PBS Kids.

But watch out, cord-cutters: YouTube TV’s channel lineup is impressive, but it’s missing a few favorites. Networks like Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY, and VICE aren’t on YouTube TV (but you can get them on Philo, another service we like here at CableTV.com).

YouTube TV channel lineup

Channel YouTube TV
A&E
ABC*
AAC Network
AMC
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
BET Her
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Boomerang
Bravo
C-SPAN
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim
CBS*
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar News
CMT
CNBC
CNN
Comedy Central
COMET
Cooking Channel
COZI TV
The CW*
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Disney Chanel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
DIY Network
E!
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
Food Network
FOX*
Fox Business Network
Fox News
FS1
FS2
Freeform
Fuse
Fusion
FX
FXM
FXX
FYI
Galavisión
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HGTV
HISTORY
HLN
IFC
Investigation Discovery (ID)
ION
Lifetime
Lifetime Movie Network
MGM+™
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
MSNBC
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic
NBA TV
NBC*
NBC Sports Network
NBC Universo
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
Nicktoons
Olympic Channel
OWN
Oxygen True Crime
Pac-12 Network
Paramount Network
PBS*
Pop
Science
SEC Network
Smithsonian Channel
Sportsman Channel
SundanceTV
Syfy
TBS
TCM
TeenNick
Telemundo*
Tennis Channel
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
truTV
TV Land
Universal Kids
Univision
USA Network
VH1
VICE
WE tv
Weather Channel

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

Sports channels on YouTube TV

With YouTube TV, you get plenty of football (including NFL Network), basketball (including NBA TV), soccer, and college b-ball games. Overall, YouTube TV’s live sports experience is as full as most cable providers’ upper-tier packages. But sorry, baseball and hockey fans, you won’t find MLB Network or NHL Network on YouTube TV.

Also, YouTube TV recently dropped all FOX regional sports networks, as well as YES and NESN. If RSNs are a must-have, we’d suggest checking out DIRECTV STREAM or fuboTV.

YouTube TV sports channel lineup

Channel YouTube TV Sports Plus add-on
($10.99/mo.)
ACC Network
beIN SPORTS
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
FS1
FS2
Golf Channel
MAVTV
MLB Network
MLB Network Strike Zone
MOTOR TREND
NBA TV
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Outdoor TV
Pac-12 Network
PlayersTV
PokerGO
SEC Network
Sports Grid
Sportsman Channel
Stadium
Tennis Channel
VISiN

Data effective as of post date.

Local channels on YouTube TV

YouTube TV features as many local channels per region as Hulu + Live TV and far more than other services like Sling TV or fuboTV.

Depending on where you are, you either receive local stations carrying ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, The CW, and Telemundo, or a combination of at least four of them.

The CW is the least available broadcast channel on YouTube TV (and all live TV streaming services), but all’s not lost in Riverdale. Any CW series can be called up on-demand in most cases, and The CW also offers its programming for free through its own streaming app. Both work similarly; it just depends on how much app-jumping you want to do.

YouTube TV local channel lineup

Channel* YouTube TV
ABC
CBS
The CW
FOX
NBC
PBS
Telemundo

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

YouTube TV channel add-ons

YouTube TV’s $72.99/mo. plan can be fortified with over 25 add-on packages from premium networks, like Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, MGM+, AMC+, NBA League Pass, and more. Most YouTube TV add-ons come with a seven-day free trial.

Channel add-ons YouTube TV
NFL Sunday Ticket $349.00–$389.00/season*
Entertainment Plus (Max, SHOWTIME, and STARZ) $29.99/mo.
Sports Plus (FOX Soccer Plus, beIN Sports, NFL RedZone, and more) $10.99/mo.
Max $15.99/mo.
HBO $14.99/mo.
CINEMAX $9.99/mo.
SHOWTIME $11.00/mo.
STARZ $9.00/mo.
MGM+ $6.00/mo.
STARZ + MGM+ $11.99/mo.
Acorn TV $6.00/mo.
ALLBLK $5.00/mo.
AMC+ $6.99/mo.
Comedy Dynamics $4.99/mo.
CONtv $4.99/mo.
CuriosityStream $3.00/mo.
Docurama $4.99/mo.
DOVE $4.99/mo.
Fandor $3.99/mo.
Fox Nation $5.99/mo.
Hallmark Movies Now $5.99/mo.
IFC Films Unlimited $5.99/mo.
Law & Crime $1.99/mo.
NBA League Pass $28.99/mo. or $199.00/season
Pantaya $5.99/mo.
Screambox $4.99/mo.
ScreenPix $2.99/mo.
Shudder $6.00/mo.
Sundance Now $7.00/mo.
UP Faith & Family $5.99/mo.
ViX Premium $6.99/mo.
WE tv+ $5.99/mo.
WNBA League Pass $7.99/mo. or $24.99/season

Data effective as of post date.

NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV

YouTube TV specs and features

For a live TV streaming service, YouTube TV really shines in terms of cloud DVR storage, simultaneous streams, and user interface, which makes it an exciting streaming option for TV fans who watch a lot of shows.

Cloud DVR

Service Cloud DVR Offline downloads
YouTube TV Unlimited (for 9 mos.) Yes (w/ 4K Plus add-on, $19.99/mo.)

YouTube TV gives you unlimited—yes, unlimited—cloud DVR space. But not forever; YouTube dumps your saved recordings after nine months. Still, that’s a generous amount of space, and you can stream your recorded programming from anywhere on your mobile device.

Fast-forwarding through commercials in recorded shows is quick and intuitive, but there’s no skipping ads with some of YouTube TV’s on-demand programming. Even in the brave new world of streaming TV, you still can’t escape Swiffer spots.

Offline downloads are only available with YouTube TV’s 4K Plus add-on, which costs an extra $19.99 a month. It also gives you access to 4K content (if your TV device supports it) and unlimited in-network streams.

Multiple streams

Service Simultaneous streams Upgrades
YouTube TV 3 Unlimited (4K Plus, $19.99/mo.)

YouTube TV gives you three simultaneous streams across streaming TV devices, computers, tablets, and phones. Conveniently, this counts within the same home network and outside of it, even while traveling throughout the US.

Unfortunately, YouTube TV can’t be accessed internationally—you’ll just have to go enjoy the beach or the museum, instead. Sorry.

A useful feature of YouTube TV is the ability to set up individual Family Sharing profiles. In addition to the original profile (which is set up through a Google account), Family Sharing lets five more people establish their own customizable profiles through their own Google accounts. Viewing preferences, DVR, and watch history are unique, and visible only to each account.

Those five accounts will still have to share just three streams, though. Bummer.

Compatible devices

Device YouTube TV
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs (select models)
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro TV
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Wii
Xbox One

Data effective as of post date.

Despite the universality of YouTube, YouTube TV isn’t available on some devices—namely, Nintendo. Most other streaming devices are good to go with YouTube TV.

Video and audio quality

YouTube TV live streams in 720p at 60 fps (frames per second), the same HD quality as cable/satellite providers and most of the other streaming TV services you’re accustomed to.

Unlike other services, YouTube TV doesn’t currently stream any content in 4K HD or HDR (high dynamic range) quality (unless you buy the 4k Plus add-on). Don’t worry; the cat videos we talked about earlier still look as cute as ever.

YouTube TV’s content streams with standard 2.0 stereo audio, but Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (the audio quality you get with Blu-ray discs) isn’t yet available with the service.

YouTube TV home page on a desktop computer. Image credit: CableTV.com

Here’s a cool YouTube TV customization feature: You can arrange channels however you like. What? Brace yourselves, television traditionalists: YouTube TV, like other live TV streaming services, doesn’t assign numbers to its channels. You can, however, bring order to this anarchy by stacking your preferred channels to the top of the grid for quick access.

YouTube TV also comes with killer search capabilities, thanks to its association with a plucky little startup called Google. You’ve probably heard of it.

YouTube TV channel guide in dark mode

YouTube TV channel guide on a desktop computer. Image credit: CableTV.com

Check your Mbps: With a solid internet connection, YouTube TV streams with little buffering or dropping out. We recommend DSL, cable, or fiber internet rated at 25 Mbps (megabytes per second) or faster.

Is YouTube TV worth it?

With only a few shortcomings, we say YouTube TV is the service to beat in the live TV streaming wars. It doesn’t carry a handful of popular live entertainment or sports channels, but the unlimited DVR, customizable features, and smooth performance does right by first-time cord-cutters.

Plus, you already know how to use it—it may be live TV, but it’s also still YouTube.

YouTube TV FAQ

What is the downside of YouTube TV?

YouTube TV’s biggest downside is its lack of FOX regional sports networks like YES and SNY, as well as other key channels including Lifetime, HISTORY, and VICE. However, it still has a pretty impressive lineup—see our full YouTube TV channel list for more information.

It’s also a bummer that you can’t fast-forward through YouTube TV ads like you could on a DVR. YouTube, as always, loves its ads.

How much does YouTube TV cost?

YouTube TV costs $72.99/mo.. Considering you get 100+ cable and local channels with no contract and unlimited cloud DVR storage, it’s still a decent deal compared to cable or satellite TV.

How does YouTube TV work?

YouTube TV works by streaming live TV through your web browser, mobile device apps, or streaming devices.

Even though it has a similar interface, it’s different from YouTube because it doesn’t limit your viewing to uploaded videos, and it’s a paid service (100+ live channels for $72.99/mo.).

Does YouTube TV have PBS?

Yes, YouTube TV has PBS and PBS Kids. It’s a big perk since PBS isn’t currently available on any other live TV streaming service besides DIRECTV STREAM. Go ahead and get the Antiques Roadshow on the road to Austin City Limits.

What channels are included with YouTube TV?

YouTube TV has 100+ channels including Comedy Central, Disney Channel, SyFy, and PBS. We like that it cuts down on traditional cable bloat from unnecessary music channels, although we wish it did a little better in the way of regional sports channels. (If you want music, you should probably just get YouTube Music or YouTube Premium.) For a full list of channels, head to our YouTube TV channel list.

How much does NFL Sunday Ticket cost on YouTube TV?

NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube TV costs $349.00 during the 2023 NFL season. For an additional $40.00, YouTube TV subscribers can get NFL Sunday Ticket with NFL RedZone—giving you the most Sunday afternoon NFL coverage.

Methodology

Our experts have logged thousands of hours of hands-on testing with YouTube TV, rating the streaming service on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up YouTube TV with other live TV streaming services head to head to give a clearer picture of its strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Disclaimer

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*Plus $72.99/mo. recurring for YouTube TV. Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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