A YouTube TV logo.

The latest streaming multichannel video provider to hike its prices is YouTube TV. The service announced Thursday that it’s raising its monthly price to $72.99 a month from $64.99, a 12.3 percent hike. That price increase is effective immediately for new members, but will kick in in the first billing cycle on or after April 18 for existing members. In a Twitter thread on this, YTTV blamed increased content costs:

Here’s more on the 4K Plus (which allows viewing of eligible 4K content, unlimited streams in a single home, and the ability to view DVR recordings offline on mobile devices) pricing change, from a YouTube TV email to customers:

We will also be lowering the price of our 4K Plus add-on from $19.99/month to $9.99/month. Users new to 4K Plus are eligible for a $4.99/month for 12 months promotional offer.* For existing users, if you are on a promotional price below $10/month, you’ll enjoy that price until the promotional period is over, at which point you’ll automatically receive the new price of $9.99/month. If you’re currently paying above $9.99/month, your new price will be $9.99/month.

This announcement comes at the start of the NCAA Tournament, so there are likely less people ready to immediately cancel than there might be at a different point. And the “effective immediately” for new members means people signing up just for that tournament will now pay more (if they keep the service after a free trial). YouTube TV did launch a longanticipated multiview mode for that tournament earlier this week, but that’s currently in early access, and only available to some members.

In terms of increased content costs, that’s always the line used by both traditional (cable and satellite) and virtual MVPDs. And there’s usually something to it; carriage negotiations are about networks trying to get higher per-subscriber fees and MVPDs trying to resist that. In YouTube TV’s case, they dropped MLB Network at the end of January (and it remains off the service), but they’ve struck numerous deals to keep other content, including a late-2021 one with Disney, and they did just sign a massive $2.5 billion deal with the NFL for Sunday Ticket (although that will require an extra subscription, with prices and pricing options yet to be announced).

YouTube TV hadn’t raised their base package prices since a July 2020 bump from $49.99 to $64.99 a month. Before that, the service was $35 a month from its 2017 launch to July 2020. They join several other vMVPDs in increasing their price recently; Sling TV (a $5 hike in November), fuboTV (a $5 boost in January), $5-10 rate hikes at DirecTV Stream in January, and a $5 Hulu hike in January.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.