When YouTube TV was announced back in February, representatives said the service would go live “in a few months” to the largest US cities. Barely a month later though, customers in certain cities can officially start watching today.
For now, the service is only open to subscribers in five cities: New York, LA, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Philadelphia. More cities are planned, with an eventual nationwide rollout coming, but a timeline hasn’t been given for those yet.
If you’re a resident of one of the first cities, you can take advantage of a free trial. While most streaming services offer one week for free, YouTube is giving customer 30 days to try the service completely free. Even better, when you stick with the service for just one month, you get a free Chromecast.
If you’re not familiar with the service (you can read our full review here), YouTube TV is a cable alternative designed to compete squarely with services like Sling TV, Playstation Vue, and DirecTV Now. Subscribers get live broadcasts of cable content from the major networks (including ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, ESPN, and more), plus local news and weather programming.
And in addition to their launch today, YouTube also announced several new networks that would be available at no additional cost: BBC America, AMC, Sundance, FC, WE tv, and BBC World News. Four add on packages are available for an extra fee, including ones that have Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus.
If there’s one downside to jumping in to YouTube TV early, it’s that you may have a little trouble actually watching it on your TV. Since there’s no smart TV app yet, the service is only available on televisions right now using a Chromecast (which may be why YouTube is throwing in a Chromecast when you pay for one month).