After a deal was announced to bring 14 additional ViacomCBS networks to YouTube TV, many subscribers are wondering if a price hike is imminent.
A Clark.com reader emailed me recently and asked for my prediction, so I thought I’d share it with everyone.
Although YouTube TV hasn’t confirmed a price increase as of this writing, it wouldn’t surprise me. In fact, I’d say it’s probable. You only have to look at YouTube TV’s brief history to understand why.
When YouTube TV was introduced back in February 2017, it started at $35 a month.
Less than a year later, in March 2018, YouTube TV added channels including TNT, Adult Swim, TBS, CNN and Cartoon Network. The price increased to $40 a month for new customers, but everyone else could keep paying $35.
That all changed in April 2019 when YouTube TV raised the price to $49.99 a month for both new and existing subscribers.
YouTube added more channels with that price adjustment, including eight Discovery network brands like HGTV, Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC and Animal Planet.
Timeline of YouTube TV’s Pricing
|March 2018||$40/month ($35/month for existing subscribers)|
Do you notice the trend here? When new channels are added, a price hike tends to follow.
With the addition of ViacomCBS networks like BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and TV Land, YouTube TV will have a more cable-like channel lineup than its main competitors: Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and AT&T TV Now.
Keep in mind that Hulu + Live TV and AT&T TV Now start at $55 a month — $5 more than YouTube TV’s current price.
Aside from the channel lineup, YouTube TV has a simple interface, unlimited DVR and three simultaneous streams included. That’s why money expert Clark Howard says it’s the best overall streaming TV service.
If YouTube TV raised its price by $5 a month, it would still be a good value compared to the competition.
Live TV Streaming Plans
|Streaming TV Service||Starting Price|
|Hulu + Live TV||$54.99/month|
|AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now)||$55/month|
|Prices as of May 22, 2020|
We know only that the ViacomCBS networks are coming sometime “this summer,” so the precise timing of a possible price hike is uncertain.
If YouTube TV decides to increase its monthly price, you can always shop around for a new service. That’s why I like streaming over cable. There are no long-term commitments and you can cancel without paying an early termination fee.
Learn more and compare your options in Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming plans and deals!