Emerging streaming service YouTube TV has announced that it’s now available in 14 cities including Baltimore, Boston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Seattle and Pittsburgh. And it will soon be available in 17 more markets in the coming weeks. Combined with the 15 markets where it already exists, YouTube TV will be available in half of the households across the United States.
In addition, YouTube will add Tennis Channel and NESN to its lineup. And the CW and My TV will be coming in selected cities.
YouTube TV has been conducting a slow rollout, signing up at least three local channels in those markets first and then making its service available. It’s a good strategy as YouTube TV has agreements with the four major broadcast networks in ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as various national cable channels like ESPN, Fox Sports’ networks and NBC Sports Group.
Nineteen of the 29 current markets have all four network affiliates, while the other 10 have three. CNET has a Google Sheets document showing which markets have their local affiliates through the corresponding streaming service. YouTube was one of the first to get CBS on board along with Fubo TV, Hulu and PlayStation Vue. DirecTV Now just recently signed an agreement with CBS, but doesn’t have local affiliates on board yet.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local broadcast network affiliates recently signed an agreement with YouTube TV allowing its stations to join the service. This agreement allows all of Sinclair’s stations to be streamed through YouTube TV in its respective local market. Sinclair also owns Tennis Channel. And while Sinclair has signed agreements with other services, it doesn’t have a comprehensive deal as the one with YouTube TV.
With Sinclair on the cusp of obtaining the Tribune stations, its cache of stations is about to get bigger and will benefit from the streaming deal with YouTube TV.
And the next phase for the service is to expand to connected TV devices like Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Roku. Right now, YouTube TV has Android and iOS apps for mobiles and tablets. To watch on a big screen, one has to connect through Google Chromecast or through AirPlay with Apple TV. That is expected to change soon.
Here are the markets where YouTube TV has newly expanded:
West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce
Here’s where YouTube TV will expand soon:
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek
Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem
Salt Lake City