Over the past couple of years, cord cutters have struggled to find the best way to watch sports without paying an arm and a leg. While DIRECTV STREAM has consistently held onto RSNs, most live TV streaming services have dropped the channels as rights to carry them have become too pricey. With subscribers fed up with losing their sports channels and paying the same price for their streaming package, it looks like YouTube TV is working on a solution – new pricing options.
In a response to a tweet from a subscriber, the Team YouTube account wrote “we understand that our pricing may not work for everyone, we’re working on getting more price options in the future.”
A quick search shows that this has also been the response to concerns about price hikes and complaints about newly added channels creating a “bloated” streaming plan that looks too much like cable to some cord cutters.
So, what does YouTube TV mean by “more price options” and when will see those options?
Team YouTube has been using the phrase “more flexible options” since June 2020. Since then, YouTube TV has been building its collection of add-on options including a sports add-on in September 2020. With 30 add-on options already available, it’s clear that YouTube TV is focused on using add-ons to show that they’re giving subscribers access to loads of content while giving them some control over which channels they’re getting and how much they’re paying.
These “flexible options” could very likely be more add-ons (both individual channels and packages like the sports add-on) and could potentially mean YouTube renegotiating deals to move some channels from its basic lineup to add-ons to bring the base price down. YouTube TV would then encourage subscribers to sign up for the base package and pick the add-on packages that best fit their needs. It’s a strategy that has worked well for Sling TV, with base packages starting at an affordable $35 and add-ons for extra sports, news, movies, and premium channels.
There’s a lot of speculating that could be done about Team YouTube’s responses, but with the support page using the same phrases for over a year now, it could also just be a canned response to customer concerns about pricing. We’ll take this with a grain of salt until we hear from YouTube TV about the future of its plans and pricing.