Earlier today, we told you about ESPN repotedly ready to launch an over the top service that won’t include its linear channels. Well it appears that ESPN will be part of a new online TV service to be offered by YouTube. The Information (subscription required) reports that YouTube is expected to launch this service within six to nine months at a cost of $35/month.

It appears that ABC, CBS and ESPN will be part of the basic bundle. YouTube’s owner Google is also talking with NBC, Viacom and Fox to include their networks as well. The service would also include several specialized YouTube channels.

The fact that YouTube is starting an online TV service is a shot across the bow at Apple which has been long rumored to be starting an online service of its own, but has yet to launch one. And YouTube’s Red subscription service has not taken off despite heavy promotion and a lack of original programming.

With YouTube reportedly starting its own service, it would join Dish’s Sling TV, Verizon’s Custom TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue in the skinny bundle business. And ESPN would certainly be an attraction to potential subscribers.

And with other services such as Hulu, Crackle, Netflix, etc. already hooking viewers, the television networks are looking for ways to attract potential subscribers and by going to skinny bundles, they’re hoping to attract millennials who want to watch live TV, but don’t want to spend money on a cable or satellite subscription.

[The Information]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.