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YouTube to take on cable with launch of live TV streaming service for $35 a month

MUMBAI: Google is soon going to compete with cable TV. The Mountain View technology giant is launching YouTube TV, an online TV subscription service positioned like Sling TV and AT&T-owned DirecTV Now.

YouTube TV will package a bundle of over 40 channels in the base package, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. The  $35-a-month TV service (base package) will have live broadcast of TV shows and sporting events as well as originals from YouTube Red. Currently, CNN, TBS, TNT and HBO are not in the menu.

YouTube TV, built on the ‘skinny bundle’ business model, is lower priced than DirecTV Now, which costs $70 a month. DirecTV Now, however, offers 120 channels. But users of YouTube TV will be able to add additional channels to the basic package. They can also unsubscribe from the service at any time.

The new, standalone app is separate from YouTube Red, the ad-free subscription service the company launched last year.

YouTube TV comes with an unlimited cloud-based DVR service. According to Google, each of the recordings will be stored in the cloud up to nine months before it gets permanently deleted. The recordings can be accessed from multiple locations.

YouTube TV is live TV designed for the YouTube generation—those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments.

In a blog post, the company said: “There’s no question that people love TV, from live sports to breaking news to sitcoms and dramas. But the truth is, there are a lot of limitations in how to watch TV today. Unlike online video, people can’t watch TV when they want, on any screen and on their terms, without commitments. Consumers have made it clear that they want live TV without all the hassle. They don’t want to worry about their DVR filling up. They don’t want to miss a great game or their favourite show because they’re on the go. They tell us they want TV to be more like YouTube.”

Though YouTube TV is a “mobile first” proposition, viewers will also be able to watch on devices like laptops and traditional TVs, via Google’s Chromecast devices.

Here’s what YouTube TV offers:

  • Live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, regional sports networks and dozens of popular cable networks. YouTube TV gives live TV, from broadcast shows like ‘Empire’, ‘The Voice’, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Scandal’, to live sports. YouTube TV includes sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks in the US like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet. So users can watch their favourite NBA or MLB teams. The company has also partnered with local TV stations, so you’ll also get sports and local news based on where you live. And YouTube TV offers dozens of additional cable channels, so users won’t miss out on the latest news from MSNBC or Fox News, shows and movies from the USA or FX, kids programming from the Disney Channel or Sprout, or reality TV from E! or Bravo. Susbcribers can also add Showtime, or Fox Soccer Plus to their networks for an additional charge. In total, YouTube TV gives access to more than 40 networks.
  • A cloud DVR, with no storage limits. With YouTube TV, users will be able to record live TV and never run out of storage. The cloud DVR can record as many shows as you want, simultaneously, without using precious data or space on your phone and we’ll store each of your recordings for nine months.
  • A service that works great on all your screens. Users can watch YouTube TV on any screen—mobile, tablet or computer—and subscribers can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS. And your cloud DVR goes with you, so users can stream your recordings on any device, whenever and wherever they want.
  • YouTube Red Originals. With a YouTube TV membership, subscribers can watch all the YouTube Red Originalseries and movies right on the new YouTube TV app.
  • Six accounts, one price. Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits. Users can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.
  • Half the cost of cable with zero commitments. A YouTube TV membership is $35 a month and there are no commitments—users can cancel anytime.

YouTube TV will be available soon in the largest US markets and will quickly expand to cover more cities across the country. “With so much great content available on TV, it is thrilled to build an experience that lets users enjoy it as easily as they watch YouTube,” the company said.