Thought you were getting a price break with an over-the-top TV package? Maybe think again.
YouTube TV is the latest OTT television service to hike its fees, which is going up to $50 per month for all customers — a 25% or 43% increase, depending a customer’s existing subscription package.
The new pricing kicks in after YouTube signed a multiyear carriage deal with Discovery for YouTube TV, covering linear programming and access to nearly 50,000 on-demand titles. On April 10, YouTube TV will launch eight Discovery-owned networks: Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, and MotorTrend. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will launch on YouTube TV by year end.
Under the new pricing, YouTube TV will cost $49.99 per month, effective April 10 for new customers. That’s up from $35 per month under the original YouTube TV plan launched in 2017, and up from $40 monthly for subs who have signed up in the past year. Existing subscribers will see the new pricing in the first billing cycle after May 13. (The price for YouTube TV customers billed through Apple will be $54.99 per month.)
In announcing the price increase, YouTube noted that YouTube TV now includes more than 70 channels, including local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations in more than 90% of U.S. markets (and three of those four in other markets). In addition, premium service Epix is now available on YouTube TV for an additional charge.
YouTube TV last raised prices in March 2018, to $40 per month, after it reached a deal to carry Turner channels. That new price was only for new subscribers, with previous subscribers on the $35-per-month plan grandfathered in. The new price hike will apply to all YouTube TV customers.
YouTube TV’s big price hike comes as other virtual pay-television service have ratcheted up rates, after an initial land-grab by OTT players to sign up customers seeking an alternative to traditional cable or satellite TV.
Last month, AT&T raised the prices for all existing DirecTV Now subscribers by $10 per month (its second increase in less than a year), while discontinuing the previous plans and replacing them with two new bundles that include HBO but omit networks from programmers including A+E Networks, AMC and Discovery. FuboTV two weeks ago hiked the price of its base internet TV package by 22%, to $54.99 per month.
Meanwhile, Hulu in February started charging $5 more for its live TV service. Dish Network’s Sling TV, the first OTT television service to launch in the U.S. four years ago, raised the price of its original package (now called Orange) in the summer of 2018, from $20 initially in 2015 to $25 per month.