Are you frustrated by YouTube TV’s latest price hike in 2023?
The popular live TV streaming service upped its monthly price from $65 to $73 on March 16, 2023.
Though the streaming service has long been considered one of the top live TV streaming options by Team Clark, this latest increase has many of us wondering if there is a cheaper option out there.
The answer is: Yes, but you may have to potentially sacrifice on the quality and quantity of content.
Unfortunately, there’s not an easy-fix solution for many streamers.
The cable company’s fee-driven TV subscriptions may still cost you more than YouTube TV. Many streaming competitors like DIRECTV STREAM and fuboTV are still more expensive than YouTube TV. And some of the services that are cheaper may require you sacrificing some of your favorite channels.
It feels like the consumer can’t win, but we’ll try.
Let’s walk through some of the streaming options that could meet your entertainment-needs for less than $73 per month.
1. Hulu + Live TV Is Slightly Cheaper and Has a Potential Money Saver Attached
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like Hulu + Live TV can save you much versus the new YouTube TV price. After all, YouTube TV’s top live TV streaming competitor costs $70 per month itself after price increases of its own.
That $3 per month does add up to $36 per year in savings, but there’s a potential for more savings.
Hulu + Live TV’s $70 subscription also includes access to The Disney Bundle. That means you’ll also receive Disney+, Hulu’s on-demand product and ESPN+ as part of your live TV subscription.
If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber who is already paying for any of these services, you could save an additional $8-$20 per month by making the switch.
For example, a YouTube TV subscriber who also pays for The Disney Bundle (starting at $13 per month) could save as much as $192 per year by moving over to Hulu + Live TV and getting The Disney Bundle included in the monthly charge.
Hulu + Live TV, like YouTube TV, offers access to local channels, many sports channels and has unlimited DVR storage.
You can use Team Clark’s live TV streaming channel tool to determine if your favorite YouTube TV channels are available on Hulu + Live TV.
2. Sling TV Offers Bundle Options and Flexibility
Sling TV doesn’t necessarily match all of the bells and whistles you may be used to with YouTube TV, but it could offer some money-saving solutions.
To offset its lower number of channels on base packages, Sling offers cost savings and flexibility with its streaming packages. You have the option to purchase two different collections of channels for $40 per month (Sling Orange or Sling Blue) or to get them both combined for $55 per month (Sling Orange + Blue).
You also can add on various sports, movies or entertainment bundles to tailor your viewing experience while still keeping your monthly cost under YouTube TV’s new price.
However, you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Sling TV only offers FOX, NBC and ABC in select markets. It does not offer CBS at all. And you will be limited to 50 hours of cloud DVR storage.
Money expert Clark Howard often suggests people should compare the channels available on each service to see if one of the $40 bundles from Sling TV will actually fulfill your household’s streaming appetite.
Moving from YouTube TV to Sling Blue or Sling Orange could save you as much as $396 per year.
3. “Skinny Bundle” Services Offer Live TV For Cheap, but Channels Are Limited
The “next step” down the proverbial live TV streaming ladder could save you some serious money, but only if you can live with the channel sacrifices.
Live TV services like Philo ($25 per month) and Frndly TV (starting at $7 per month) can give you the live TV you crave at a fraction of the price of YouTube TV. And they even have pretty generous cloud DVR policies.
But you’re not going to get any live sports, local channels or news networks. Instead, you’ll get a blend of movies, comedy and entertainment.
Still, a move from YouTube TV to Philo would save you approximately $576 per year. And if Frndly TV could serve as your live TV option, you could save as much as $792 per year.
Check our channel comparison chart to see if the offerings from Philo or Frndly TV could work for you.
4. Switch to Video On-Demand Streaming Services
If you’re the type of person who likes to binge-watch the latest popular TV shows and movies, you know that live TV streaming isn’t necessarily where your money is best spent in 2023.
If you care more about this type of content than live sports or news, the YouTube TV price increase may be a sign that it is time to stop paying for live streaming content altogether.
Video streaming services (sometimes referred to as video-on-demand or VOD services) are where the action is at for new, popular original content.
Streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ are responsible for some of the most popular TV hits in recent years.
Amazon Prime subscribers receive some great content on Prime Video as a part of that subscription as well.
Meanwhile, Paramount+ (CBS) and Peacock (NBC) offer you a blend of national network content and on-demand libraries for as little as $5 per month.
You even get some live sports from Apple TV+, Peacock and Paramount+ subscriptions.
Considering a year’s worth of YouTube TV now costs $876, you could find your way into annual subscriptions for all seven of the video streaming services I’ve mentioned and likely still save money.
Team Clark tries to help you find the best ways to save on these services by keeping track of streaming deals and discounts.
5. Embrace the Increasing Amount of Free Streaming Content Available
For several years now, money expert Clark Howard has been encouraging people to check out the growing number of free streaming TV options available.
Now might be the time for disgruntled YouTube TV subscribers to take him up on that.
You may be surprised to find that services like Pluto TV, Tubi TV, The Roku Channel and Amazon Freevee have major entertainment industry backers and offer an interesting blend of live and on-demand content.
These services rely on you watching commercials instead of paying for monthly subscriptions.
You’re not going to get the latest and greatest with these services, nor will you get live sports, but you may find that there’s enough “free stuff” to keep you entertained.
You could pair these free services with a digital antenna to get your local channels for free over the air. This combination will save you $876 per year when compared to a YouTube TV subscription.
Do you have a money-saving strategy for replacing YouTube TV? We’d love to hear about it in the Clark.com community.