Going back about twenty years, cable subscribers thought the solution to the rising cost of cable was “a la carte”. Some of you younger readers may not understand what that means. “A la carte” was term that would allow coble subscribers to pay for only the channels they want. It was the “sovereign citizen” of the cable world. We got our wish. Now, we complain about how many streaming services we need to watch what we enjoy. When YouTube TV came out, it was a $35 dollar option for basic able.
In the last few years, it has ballooned to $65 after the last price hike in 2020. The closest thing to that $35 option is one of the Sling TV options. Obviously, that is missing a lot. With many services raising prices, YouTube TV is in the market for another price hike. However, it looks like that won’t be in the cards for a bit. At least for 2021.
During an interview with The Verge‘s Nilay Patel on the Decoder podcast, YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan doesn’t see any changes in the “near future”. The discussion focused around all of YouTube’s monetization but got to YouTube TV. The exchanged ended with Mohan saying, “there’s not another price hike or anything in the near term.”
No YouTube TV price hike in the ‘near term’.
Obviously, we don’t know what their definition of ‘near term’ is. It can be distilled down to no price hike for 2021. Not to mention, two price hikes in two years may be too much for most people. Between Sling and YouTube TV, Sling has some options but the local television channels is a hindrance. For $50, you can get ESPN, news channels, and many cable channels.
Sling has an option that partners with Locast to give you “free” local channels. However, it’s unclear if that 15-minute stream interrupted by an ad to pay applies. I already have Locast paid for a year, so I don’t know for sure. In the end, YouTube TV is a better all-in-one package that includes locals.
So not hearing a price hike, for at least a year, makes it a strong option.