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YouTube TV Review 2024: Cut the Cord with Confidence

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
YouTube TV
Pro
100+ channels
Pro
Unlimited Cloud DVR storage
Pro
Excellent customer satisfaction
Con
Higher price
Con
Fewer RSNs
Con
No A&E, Lifetime, or VICE
Pro
100+ channels
Pro
Unlimited Cloud DVR storage
Pro
Excellent customer satisfaction
Con
Higher price
Con
Fewer RSNs
Con
No A&E, Lifetime, or VICE

We think YouTube TV is an excellent live TV streaming service. In fact, we’ve named it CableTV.com’s Editor’s Choice for best overall service in 2024. 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.

See how we rank. Our experts surveyed hundreds of YouTube TV customers, researched pricing and hidden fees, tested YouTube TV extensively, and then rated it according to four essential criteria:

Editorial star rating: 4.33

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YouTube TV is worth the price of admission

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–$202.98/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.)
YouTube TV + WOW! TV $92.99/mo.—$247.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (for 9 mos.) View plans

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 85–100+ 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 $34.99 a month. The standalone plan 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)

Supplement your experience with add-ons

YouTube TV’s $72.99/mo. plan can be fortified with over 25 add-on packages from premium networks, like Max, Paramount+ with 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, Paramount+ with 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.
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME $11.99/mo.
STARZ $9.00/mo.
MGM+ $6.00/mo.
STARZ + MGM+ $11.99/mo.
Acorn TV $6.00/mo.
ALLBLK $5.00/mo.
AMC+ $8.99/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
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.

It has all the channels I watched on cable TV for a much lower price. There's occasional buffering but other than that I'm very satisfied.

YouTube TV customer in West Virginia

What are the downsides of YouTube TV?

YouTube TV’s biggest downside is its price. For a lot of customers, the latest price increase from $64.99 per month to $72.99 per month was a huge letdown. Basically, you’re paying the same price you would for that expensive cable TV package you so eagerly ditched a couple of years back.

In terms of channels, we also don’t love the 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 while watching VOD content saved to your library. (YouTube, as always, loves its ads.) The good news is that YouTube TV usually gives you the option to watch recorded versions of the same shows and movies through its Cloud DVR, which allows you to fast-forward through commercials.

Watch 100+ channels with YouTube TV

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).

Channel YouTube TV
A&E
ABC*
ABC News
ACC Network
AMC
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
BET Her
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Boomerang
Bounce
Bravo
C-SPAN
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim
CBS*
CBS Sports Network
CHARGE!
Cheddar
Cheddar News
CMT
CNBC
CNBC World
CNN
Comedy Central
Comedy.tv
COMET
Cooking Channel
Court TV
COZI TV
The CW*
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Disney Chanel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
DIY Network
Docurama
Dove Channel
E!
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
Food Network
FOX*
Fox Business Network
Fox News
Fox Soul
Fox Weather
FS1
FS2
Freeform
Fuse
Fusion
FX
FXM
FXX
FYI
Galavisión
Game Show Network
Get TV
Golf Channel
The Great Courses
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HGTV
HISTORY
HLN
HSN
IFC
Investigation Discovery (ID)
ION
Justice Central TV
LAFC
Law & Crime
Lifetime
Lifetime Movie Network
Live Now Fox
Local Now
Localish (ABC)
Magnolia Network
MGM+™
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
MSNBC
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
MyTV
Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic
NBA TV
NBC*
NBC LX
NBC News Now
NBC Sports Network
NBC Universo
NECN
Newsnation
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
Nicktoons
Orlando City FC
OWN
Oxygen
Oxygen True Crime
Pac-12 Network
Paramount Network
PBS*
PBS Kids
PCMag
Pop
QVC
Recipe.TV
Science
Scripps News
SEC Network
Smithsonian Channel
Sportsman Channel
Start TV
SundanceTV
Syfy
Tastemade
T2
TBD
TBS
TCM
TeenNick
Telehit
Telemundo*
Tennis Channel
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
truTV
TV Land
TYT
Universal Kids
Univision
USA Network
VH1
VICE
WE tv
Weather Channel
YouTube Originals

Data effective as of post date.

*Availability varies by area.

How to watch live sports 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. (But you can on Fubo.)

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 Fubo.

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

Data effective as of post date.

How to watch 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 Fubo.

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 provides all the local channels and so much more. It is a good value for the money compared to cable TV.

YouTube TV customer in Alabama
Channel* YouTube TV
ABC
CBS
The CW
FOX
NBC
PBS
Telemundo
Unimás
Univision

Data effective as of post date.

*Availability varies by area.

What do customers think of YouTube TV?

Long story short, customers rate YouTube TV very highly in terms of overall satisfaction. In our 2024 survey of live TV streaming customers, YouTube TV came in third overall, with niche streaming service Frndly and industry heavyweight Hulu + Live TV just barely beating it out.

Top spots for overall satisfaction go to Frndly TV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV

In particular, YouTube TV customers were very satisfied with its reliability and user experience while they weren’t so keen on its price.

We agree, $72.99/mo. can be too much cashola a month for most folks, but damn, that UX slaps (more on that below). And, its price point is a lot cheaper than most traditional cable packages, as one survey respondent noted below.

Not only that, but two of the three authors of this review are diehard YouTube TV customers. In particular, our Managing Editor, Mike Strayer, prefers to watch live sports on YouTube TV over Hulu + Live TV.

YouTube TV is incredibly convenient and cheaper than regular cable. We switched to YouTube TV because regular cable was too expensive.

YouTube TV customer in Rhode Island

YouTube TV offers Cloud DVR and multiple streams

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 U.S.

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.

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 a few nontraditional devices, like the Nintendo Switch. But most other streaming devices are good to go with YouTube TV.

Is YouTube TV easy to use?

Channel guide and interface

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)

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 screen in dark mode
YouTube TV home page 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.

YouTube TV FAQ

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 at the start of the NFL regular 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.

Why you should trust us

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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