YouTube TV hikes price 30% with the addition of ViacomCBS channels

YouTube TV, a budget-friendly alternative to traditional cable since its launch in 2017, is hiking its price 30%.

Starting today, YouTube TV now costs $65 monthly for new subscribers, up from $50. Existing subscribers will see the change implemented in the following bill cycle, on or after July 30.

The increase marks YouTube TV’s third price hike in just over two years. The service initially launched with a subscription cost of $35 before rising to $40 in early 2018 with the addition of Turner channels like TBS, TNT, CNN, and Cartoon Network. Then it rose again in April of last year to $50 when Discovery channels were included in the package.

Like before, YouTube is justifying the latest price hike by adding new channels—14 this time—from ViacomCBS. Eight of them are available today. They include: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1. YouTube says BET Her, MTV2, MTV Classic, Nick Jr., NickToons, and TeenNick will arrive on the platform “at a later date.”

“We don’t take these decisions lightly, and realize how hard this is for our members,” wrote Christian Oestlien, YouTube TV’s vice president of product management, in a blog post. “That said, this new price reflects the rising cost of content and we also believe it reflects the complete value of YouTube TV, from our breadth of content to the features that are changing how we watch live TV.”

YouTube TV, which says it has more than 2 million subscribers, now includes more than 85 channels. Its features include unlimited DVR storage space and up to six accounts per household with three concurrent streams.

Oestlien noted that with the price change, “we understand that some of you may choose to pause or cancel your membership,” and included a link for customers to do either.

In that link, YouTube notes that its new price is still even with rival Hulu + Live TV—with YouTube having roughly 20 more channels—when a $10 DVR feature is added to Hulu. A crucial difference, however, is that Hulu + Live TV users get access to the Hulu streaming library, including Hulu original series and movies.

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