YouTube TV and NBCU Temporary Extension Only Lasts Until Tonight (October 1st)
While there was some good news for YouTube TV subscribers last night, it may be short-lived. While NBCU-owned channels were expected to be dropped last night at midnight, YouTube TV and NBCU were able to reach a short-term extension. However, The Streamable has learned from a source close to the negotiations that it only lasts until tonight, October 1st.
While the two sides could come to terms before then, or reach a further extension, it is just as possible that the channels could go dark on YouTube TV tonight.
Last night, YouTube TV said in a statement: “We don’t have an update on the negotiations with NBC, but as of now there is no change to your available networks.”
The channels involved in the conflict include all NBC local affiliates, as well as Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network.
Also at issue are local NBC Sports RSNs — including NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and NBC Sports Washington.
Prior to losing Fox Sports RSNs (now Bally Sports), YouTube TV reached a temporary extension, and then reached a six-month agreement that kept some local RSNs on through MLB season, while dropping YES Network and Fox Sports West. All Fox Sports RSNs were dropped following the end of the baseball season in October 2020.
This situation is a bit different. While it is possible that they could reach a deal without NBC Sports RSNs, similar to Sling, any new deal would likely be a long-term agreement.
Closest YouTube TV Alternatives
Hulu Live TV
This is probably the closest one-to-one comparison to YouTube TV. You’ll get access to up to 0 channels.
Hulu Live TV also provides a phenomenal on-demand library of original titles, including “The Handmaid's Tale,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Palm Springs,” “PEN15,” “Shrill,” and a great rotating library of blockbuster movies. If you bundle Hulu Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN+, you’ll save $7/month. With a free trial, this is an easy choice.
Hulu includes a cloud DVR with 50 hours of capacity, though you can’t fast-forward through commercials. You can upgrade to the Enhanced Cloud DVR for $10/month. That provides 200 hours of storage space and you can skip ads.
Key takeaway: Comparable channel lineup with great, exclusive originals on demand.
Full breakdown: Hulu Live TV vs. YouTube TV ►Sign Up
Billing itself as a sports-lover’s dream, fuboTV includes free 4K broadcasts (unlike YouTube TV), and a ton of flexible sports add-ons. FuboTV can give you as many as 151 channels. You would lose access to AMC, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT, truTV, and WE tv, however. You do get a free trial with fuboTV, so it’s also an easy one to try.
FuboTV provides a 250-hour cloud DVR. For another $5/month, you can upgrade to a 1,000-hour DVR.
Key takeaway: Sports options galore with free 4K.
Full breakdown: fuboTV vs. YouTube TV ►
DIRECTV STREAM can get expensive quickly, but that might be worth it for access to as many as 213 channels, including more regional sports networks than any other service. There are four tiers of service available, so you can tailor your choices.
DIRECTV STREAM does not offer NFL RedZone or NFL Network, however.
DIRECTV STREAM’s included DVR only provides 20 hours of cloud storage. You can upgrade to Unlimited Storage for $10/month.
Key takeaway: The most channels available to stream, the best Regional Sports Network options.
Full breakdown: DIRECTV STREAM vs. YouTube TV ►5-Day Trial
Sling TV has the most flexible channel packages available, allowing users to save a lot of money. The service offers two separate channel packages for $35 or a combo of the two for just $50. Sling TV does not offer ABC, CBS, Telemundo, The CW, and Univision. But you can get Fox and NBC in select markets.
You can add NFL RedZone to Sling TV.
Sling TV includes 50 hours of recording space with each subscription. For $5/month, you can have up to 200 hours of recording space.
Key takeaway: Save money with skinnier bundles.
Full breakdown: Sling TV vs. YouTube TV ►GET $10 OFF