YouTube TV channels and networks, cost, devices and more

Youtube TV app on Apple TV home screen
(Image credit: Future)

YouTube TV is for anyone who wants to cut the cord and get rid of cable TV. It's a popular option among the best cable TV alternatives thanks to an extensive line-up, unlimited DVR cap and intuitive design. YouTube TV lets you get out of that expensive cable contract but still watch live sports, news and entertainment.

Those looking to replace cable should be happy with the default set of YouTube TV channels. As our YouTube TV review notes, the extensive line-up of channels is one of the service's strongest features. That set of channels is a major reason why it performed well in our YouTube TV vs. Sling TV face-off. And when comparing YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV, it (again) fares very well.

So what channels can you watch, what devices support YouTube TV and how does it stack up to competing cable-replacement services? We've put together the master guide on YouTube TV, how its programming and price stack up, and what makes it special. 

What is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV is a live TV service that uses YouTube's clean and straightforward interface. It also provides on-demand video and cloud-based DVR from over 85 networks. And while it's not the cheapest option, it's actually one of our favorite options. 

We've ranked YouTube TV highly in our personal tests to try and figure out what services we want to use. We're currently testing it against Sling TV, to see which buffers the least often.

Youtube TV channels: This is us

Available on smart TVs, streaming boxes, computers and mobile devices, it includes local network broadcast channels, basic cable networks and original web shows. It's designed to be an alternative to traditional cable and satellite television services, allowing you to stream content on various devices. 

Channels on Youtube TV's home screen

YouTube TV cost: What's the price?

The service now costs $73 per month for a single membership with up to 6 accounts in the same household. That's $4 less than its main competitor, Hulu with Live TV, which costs $77 per month. 

YouTube TV's subscription price offers over 100 channels, a great DVR experience that supports multiple recordings at once, plus an intuitive user interface that will feel instantly familiar to long-time streamers as well as recent cord-cutters. In addition, YouTube TV is available to watch not only on your home network but on the go through the robust YouTube app, making it more appealing for frequent travelers than Hulu with Live TV, which is less mobile-friendly.

You can try out YouTube TV for seven days before you're charged. And because there's no contract for the service, you can cancel at any time.

YouTube TV channels: What do you get?

The YouTube TV channels list includes more than 100 live TV channels, including local broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, news channels like MSNBC, CNN and Fox News, and entertainment channels like AMC, Freeform, E!, and SyFy. Sports fans also have a number of national options, including ESPN, NBC Sports and more. A full list of channels available by zip code is available at the official YouTube TV website.

Here's the full list of  that are available with a base subscription plan: 

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • ACCN
  • AMC
  • Adult Swim
  • Animal Planet
  • BBC
  • BBC World News
  • BET
  • BTN
  • Bravo
  • CBS Sports
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • CNBC World
  • CNN
  • Cartoon Network
  • Cheddar Big News
  • Cheddar Business
  • Cheddar News
  • Comedy Central
  • Cozi TV
  • Discovery
  • Disney
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • E!
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • FOX Business
  • FOX News Channel
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • Food Network
  • Fox Sports
  • Freeform
  • FX
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • Golf Channel
  • HGTV
  • HLN
  • IFC
  • Investigation Discovery
  • LAFC
  • Local Now
  • MLB Game of the week
  • Motortrend
  • MTV
  • MyNetworkTV
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports
  • NBC Universo
  • NECN
  • NESN
  • NFL Network
  • NatGeo Wild
  • National Geographic
  • Newsy
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Network
  • Olympics Channel
  • Orlando City
  • Oxygen
  • POP
  • SEC ESPN Network
  • SNY
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Sounders FC
  • StartTV
  • SundanceTV
  • SyFy
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • TYT
  • Tastemade
  • Telemundo
  • The CW
  • Travel Channel
  • TruTV
  • TV Land
  • USA
  • Universal Kids
  • VH1
  • WE TV
  • YouTube Originals

YouTube TV special features

  • Multiple Streams: Subscribers can stream YouTube TV on up to three devices simultaneously at home, and on up to three devices outside their home network.
  • YouTube Multiview: This feature, available on select channels allows users to watch up to four live streams simultaneously on a single screen.
  • Works with 5G Home Internet: YouTube TV is one of the few live TV streaming services that works seamlessly with 5G home internet.
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR: Record as many shows as you want and store them for up to nine months. 
  • Family sharing: Share your account with up to five other household members, each with their own login and personalized recommendations.

YouTube TV in 4K is here — but it costs more

To access 4K streaming, YouTube TV subscribers will need to upgrade their account with the optional 4K Plus add-on which costs $9.99 per month on top of the base plan price. In addition to being able to watch select channels in 4K resolution, this add-on allows streamers to access YouTube TV on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously within their home network, and watch recorded DVR content offline. You can go to your membership settings to get a free trial for 30 days. 

YouTube TV accounts and simultaneous streams

YouTube TV allows subscribers to share their membership with up to six accounts within a household.  Each person gets their own login credentials, personalized recommendations, and individual DVR library with unlimited cloud storage. 

The only account limitation is that all members of the household sharing the YouTube TV membership must be 13 years of age or older. 

YouTube TV: Where is it available?

YouTube TV is widely available in the United States, offering coverage in over 99.5% of U.S. households. However, the specific channels offered, especially local channels, can vary greatly depending on your individual TV market, so it is best to check  local channel availability on the official YouTube TV website before subscribing.

YouTube TV devices and app

The YouTube TV app is available on virtually all smart TVs, including models from Hisense, LG, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TCL, and Vizio. It's also on Chromecast and the PS5, PS4, and Xbox One consoles. 

The YouTube TV app is also available on Android, iOS, laptops and desktops, as well as Amazon's Fire TV devices. YouTube TV apps have also been on on Apple TV boxes and Roku TVs and other Roku devices, including the Express, Ultra and Stick.

You can look at the supported devices on Youtube TV's website. 

Can you watch live TV on YouTube TV? How about local channels?

Yes. YouTube TV's major function is its ability to serve up livestreams of cable TV channels. In New York City, for example, YouTube TV offers a selection of local networks (ABC 7, CBS 2, FOX 5 and NBC 4), while excluding PBS.

youtube tv's live content listings

YouTube TV's Home tab shows you live TV options, as well as suggests top picks based on your preferences. For complete listings, click on the Live tab to see what's streaming now, and what's up next. Hovering over a show or event shows you a preview of the content.

What premium channel add-ons does YouTube TV offer?

Just like with cable, YouTube TV offers several premium channel add-ons that can be purchased for additional cost. These channel offerings include most major cable players, including Max, Paramount Plus with Showtime, Starz, MGM Plus, and more. 

YouTube TV also has a Sports Plus add-on bundle that costs $10.99 per month and includes beIN SPORTS / beIN SPORTS XTRA, Billiard TV, FOX Soccer Plus, MAVTV, Motorsports Network, NFL RedZone, Outside, PlayersTV, PokerGO+, SportsGrid Stadium, Tennis Channel, FanDuel TV, VSiN, Fight Network and Impact Wrestling

YouTube TV DVR

One of YouTube TV's most prominent features is its ability to save programming to its DVR library. To record a show, click its "+" button. YouTube TV will begin recording if the show is live, or save the show later if it has yet to come on.

Unlike traditional DVRs with limited storage, YouTube TV recordings are stored in the cloud, providing unlimited space. This is especially useful as recordings are never automatically deleted on YouTube TV, unlike some Live TV services that might set expiration dates. This ensures users can revisit their shows and events whenever they want, and curate their own, on-demand streaming service of shows they like to watch over and over. 

youtube tv's family sharing plan

YouTube TV reviews

Tom's Guide writer Kelly Woo gave YouTube TV a good review, giving the service credit for an unlimited DVR, local channels and its ease of use. Wired's Davey Alba agreed, but noted that YouTube TV's channel selection may not feature enough content for everyone, and gave it the backhanded compliment of being "fun, because television is fun."

The YouTube TV mobile app drew praise from Ben Popper at The Verge, who also appreciated the unlimited amount of storage in its cloud-based DVR. Mashable's Raymond Wong lamented that the streaming service forces you to "give up go-to channels like CNN, Comedy Central, TBS and Adult Swim."

YouTube TV free trial

When you sign up for YouTube TV, you get a free seven-day trial, provided the Google account that you're using has never been used for the service before. Occasionally, YouTube TV will offer longer free trial periods of up to 21 days, but these are only available seasonally. 

How does YouTube TV compare to Sling TV and other cable replacement services?

YouTube TV's clean interface is one of the best around, but its unlimited DVR cap isn't as unique as it used to be. It's just Sling that can't touch that metric. And while we love YouTube TV's growing channel list, its pricing may now be a sore spot for many. 

The new $73 a month price puts YouTubeTV right above the $70 Hulu With Live TV and below the $75 (before regional sports fees) Fubo TV. Hulu includes Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, while fuboTV has a ton of international sports channels that nobody else has.

Sling TV, which offers smaller channel bundles at a lower cost, might be a more economical solution for some. Check out their official website here for more on what they offer.

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.

With contributions from