YouTube, angling to be 'real' TV, will launch live networks

YouTube, angling to be 'real' TV, will launch live networks

Google's video site is taking the wraps off YouTube TV, its new $35-a-month TV service that will package a bundle of channels from the broadcast networks and some cable networks. The new service will include content from all four broadcasters as well as some cable channels, all for $35 a month, the company announced Tuesday at an event for press and partners at YouTube Space LA.

You'll now be able to watch shows from over 40 networks including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as Bravo, FX, ESPN and Fox Sports. Hulu has similarly announced plans to launch an internet-based television service at a similar price point.

As for what that content is, YouTube appears to have pushed hard against the major TV networks' arcane distribution rules to offer as much local and national broadcast as possible.

In 2015, Google launched the commercial-free service called YouTube Red for $10 a month. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits.

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Additionally, subscribers receive access to YouTube Red original content. YouTube launched Red, an ad-free $9.99/month subscription service in October 2015.

Streaming rights are incredibly complicated, and YouTube TV is facing regional problems that have plagued competitors like DirecTV Now.

"We're bringing the best of the YouTube experience to live TV", reads a YouTube blog post. You get AMC, but there is no access to Viacom or Turner's networks. That's why it will launch in "limited United States markets, where it has full coverage", according to Recode's Peter Kafka. And your cloud DVR goes with you, so you can stream your recordings on any device, whenever and wherever you want.

YouTube TV will include Red original shows and movies. But with its tremendous advantages in software and an existing loyal user base on YouTube, Google faces an enormous opportunity to compete in live television, as well.