A live TV streaming service is YouTube TV. Although it only offers one plan, it offers most channels you would anticipate from a cable subscription. However, there is a ton of competition. To find out everything there is to know about YouTube’s channel lineup, continue reading.
In a rush? FuboTV is better if you’re seeking raw channels, especially sports-oriented ones. Sling TV is unmatched in terms of affordability and flexibility.
Hulu + Live TV also provides a comparable package to YouTube TV while boasting an excellent on-demand selection. By reading the information below, you can decide if local channels on YouTube TV suit you.
Local networks are the OTT streaming services’ fatal flaw. A single media corporation often owns pay TV networks like Discovery, Bravo, Lifetime, MTV, Disney, etc. And that business handles its national (or international) distribution.
However, commercial broadcast networks, such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and so on, are made up of several local stations subject to a complicated set of laws that have been developed and modified throughout nearly a century of television. Therefore, you must negotiate with Discovery Communications to carry Discovery.
All of your subscribers can now access Discovery from anywhere in the nation. However, it would help if you bargained with Disney (ABC’s parent corporation) and the many ABC-affiliated stations nationwide to carry ABC. Some people might not be interested, while others might demand less money.
For some regions, a specific network may not even have a local affiliate (this is more typical for smaller networks like The CW and UniMás). And all of this independent contracting adds up. This explains why significant providers like Hulu, Fubo, and DirecTV offer local networks, whereas discount provider Philo does not.
You can watch the following networks on YouTube TV if (a) a particular network has a local affiliate in your location and (b) that affiliate agrees to be carried by YouTube TV:
- The CW
Only FuboTV has a list that comes close to being comprehensive regarding local networks. There is sporadic coverage of The CW and Univision, and none of the others carry UniMás. The only streaming provider that provides PBS is YouTube TV. PBS is available for free on its own through its website or app, so this isn’t a big problem.
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Localized Sports Networks
There are few regional sports networks (RSNs) on YouTube TV. Not nearly as many as DIRECTV STREAM and not as many as FuboTV. The Bally RSNs (previously Fox Sports and now owned by Sinclair Broadcasting), AT&T SportsNet, and Spectrum Sports are the only regional sports networks that aren’t NBC Sports.
If you want to watch most of the games played by your home team in MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, and MLS, you’ll need an RSN. RSNs are the mainstay of the channel roster for ardent sports lovers.
The same RSNs are available on Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV. FuboTV offers about twice as many. However, you must subscribe to the $89.99/mo DIRECTV STREAM Choice plan if you are beyond the service area.
Issues With YouTube TV’s Home Section And Local Channels
YouTube TV is a relatively reliable service for local networks, but it has its challenges. To begin with, YouTube TV heavily relies on a Home region, which will impact which local channels a subscriber or household has access to.
Due to this, it is crucial that YouTube TV’s Home area be accurate and updated when shifting homes. If not, subscribers risk getting the incorrect local channels. Even worse, there was none.
Consumers have reported that they are receiving the incorrect local channels even if the Home is set correctly. The local channels are the problem in most situations, not YouTube TV.
For instance, despite a subscriber anticipating receiving a specific local channel or network, the channel may have discovered that the subscriber’s location really gives them access to a different nearby local channel than they had anticipated.
Instead of the wrong channel being delivered in the first place, this is frequently the result of the local channel’s agreement with the region.
Additionally, customers using YouTube TV away from home will discover that they need help accessing their regular local stations. Therefore, they won’t be able to record any of these channels, even though they are likely to see locals who are pertinent to the location they have visited.
Blackouts are another problem that customers of YouTube TV frequently experience with local stations and RSN. But, once more, this is a choice made by the particular channel and not necessarily a result of YouTube TV.
A YouTube TV member may occasionally have access to a local channel but discover that a channel blackout prevents them from watching at certain times or during certain events. Those who want to watch local live sports are far more likely to face this problem.
Replacements For YouTube TV
The live TV streaming industry is highly competitive. As a result, each service has benefits and drawbacks.
However, the sector has become more centralized in many areas. One relates to streaming technology. Most of them work with the most popular gadgets, including the Xbox gaming console, LG, Roku, Samsung, Vizio smart TVs, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV.
- Hulu Plus Live TV: A comparable service in price (the same) and channel count (roughly the same). The CW is not included in Hulu’s Live TV’s local lineup, but its regional coverage is marginally better. Also absent from Hulu are the AMC Networks channels (AMC, Sundance TV, IFC, Allblk, and west), superior original programming, and a more extensive selection of on-demand materials. Hulu does, however, offer A&E networks.
- A similar service to Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV is FuboTV. More channels for the same price, but a more significant proportion are sports networks. More RSNs are present. Furthermore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that its coverage of international sports is significantly more significant, given that it was developed to give access to soccer matches that would not have otherwise reached the US.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Despite being more expensive and offering fewer channels, it has many benefits, including improved local channel geographic coverage. It is the king of RSNs, giving everyone access except NBC Sports Philadelphia.
- Sling TV: Sling TV is an exclusive option, starting at $40.00/mo. Suppose you prefer options but need more money. It doesn’t have ABC and CBS, but you can still receive NBC and Fox, and if you’re willing to set up a free antenna, you can watch all four (with the purchase of two months).
- Video: A less expensive streaming service ($59.95/mo), it offers several local channels and excellent NCAA sports coverage among its 100+ channels.
- Philo: Take a look at Philo if you ponder why anyone would need so many sports and news channels compared to more extensive services like YouTube TV. It only has one news station, BBC World News, and offers a few sporting events. But for only $25 per month, it offers more than 60 channels.
There are local stations on YouTube TV that users can watch, including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. However, YouTube TV does make it simple to examine which local channels will be available before joining up and needing to pay. The precise local channel selection may vary based on the location.
Regarding locals, YouTube TV is generally a better live TV streaming site. However, while the local channel experience offered to YouTube TV subscribers is generally positive, it could be more flawless.
Locals’ access to local channels may be hampered by inaccurate location information because local channels are linked to the home area where YouTube TV has stored. Additionally, customers may experience difficulties when traveling or during content blocks trying to access their typical local stations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I unable to access local channels on YouTube TV?
You must be in your new home area to update your home on YouTube TV. Use YouTube TV in your hometown at least once every three months if you travel a lot. By doing this, YouTube TV can continue to provide you with the appropriate local networks.
What is the price of local channels on YouTube TV?
You receive 85+ cable and local channels for $64.99 monthly and an unlimited cloud DVR. The familiarity factor is YouTube TV’s main benefit over other streaming TV services.
How do I access only the local channels?
There are various ways to stream your local network channels if you want to avoid utilizing an antenna. The three services, DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV, are the best for streaming local ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS. In almost every US market, they all provide a way to live stream major broadcast networks.