YouTube Debuts YouTube TV in 5 Cities, Includes Free Chromecast

YouTube TV is now available in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia "with more US markets coming soon". With that in mind, Google is now offering a free Chromecast to subscribers after their first month's payment, while supplies last.

YouTube TV will include ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports Network and Comcast SportsNet, among many others.

YouTube TV follows in the footsteps of other so-called "skinny bundles" - bundles that let you watch live TV from a phone, tablet, web browser or set-top box without a pay TV box or subscription - from Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now.

A bonus for families or groups of friends: Each YouTube TV account comes with up to six independent sub-accounts, each with its own virtual DVR, preferences, recommendations.

The YouTube TV platform is now live.

Open up YouTubeTV, and you'll see the current live offerings from the 40 channels, and go to a specific show page, and depending upon the program, you'll see at least five episodes available for viewing.

When I watched YouTube execs unveil the new YouTube TV service at a flashy press conference here a few weeks ago, I was skeptical. AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, WE tv, and BBC World are some of the networks which will soon be added to the service "at no additional cost".

With YouTube TV you can either watch live TV or record shows, movies and more to watch later. Currently, YouTube TV only has four "add-on" channels that come with an extra fee, including Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus (sorry, no HBO yet).

While YouTube TV is now only available in the aforementioned select markets, more markets will be added "soon", according to the YouTube TV website.

A subscription costs $35 a month, with a free 30-day trial to start.

How is YouTube TV different?

Speaking of the cloud-based DVR used for YouTube TV, Google says there's no upper limit on how much you can store. And if you do decide to pay, you get a free Chromecast your first paid month.

  • Arturo Norris