YouTube TV only offers one live TV subscription option but there are a number of add-on bundles that either increase the selection of channels available with the base plan or add premium features. The Sports Plus, Entertainment Plus and 4K Plus add-ons do also increase the cost of a subscription, but can be a good and quick way to improve what’s available with YouTube TV’s live TV package.
YouTube TV is a highly popular option for those looking to stream live TV over the internet. One of the reasons is the user experience and additional features, such as the unlimited cloud DVR. However, at $64.99 per month, the base subscription is expensive compared to other services and will feel all the more expensive if it does not include the channels an individual or household wants. In total, the standard YouTube TV package comes with more than 85 channels. The channel lineup not only includes a good mixture of news, entertainment and sports, but the actual number is higher than what is typically offered by many competing services’ base plans.
For those in need of more content than what’s available with the base subscription, YouTube TV subscribers can improve the channel lineup by adding premium networks to their package. In addition, YouTube TV also offers subscribers bundles that either combine premium channels to save on the cost, add more sports or premium features.
Entertainment Plus add-on
For those interested in more entertainment, there is the Entertainment Plus add-on. Priced at $29.99 per month, this add-on offers a way to bundle some of the premium networks that can also be added individually to save on the overall cost. This is not an a la carte add-on, however, as there is no choice on the premium networks that can be bundled together. Officially, YouTube TV states the Entertainment Plus add-on expands the base subscription by 29 channels, but that number ultimately boils down to just three premium networks.
- HBO Max
Considering HBO Max through YouTube TV costs $14.99 per month, Showtime costs $11 per month and Starz costs $9 per month, the Entertainment Plus add-on results in a monthly saving of around $5 compared to the $34.99 total cost. However, it is worth keeping in mind that bundles like this come with their own limitations. For one thing, the inability to remove just one of the networks or to take advantage of any of the free trials available with HBO Max, Showtime and Starz before paying.
Sports Plus add-on
An add-on sports fans might want to consider is Sports Plus. Priced at an additional $10.99 each month, the Sports Plus add-on brings together a selection of additional sports channels, including NFL RedZone. Officially, YouTube TV states Sports Plus adds an extra 13 sports channels to the base package, but that number includes multiple Stadium, Fox and TVG channels.
- FOX College Sports Atlantic
- FOX College Sports Central
- FOX College Sports Pacific
- FOX Soccer Plus
- MAVTV Motorsports Network
- NFL RedZone
- Stadium 2
- Stadium 3
- Stadium 4
- TVG 2
YouTube TV is already a good solution for sports fans, thanks to features like key replays and the ability to view in-game stats. While the Sports Plus add-on greatly builds on that base with additional channels, those wanting to watch sports in 4K will need to consider upgrading their package with a different add-on
4K Plus add-on
In contrast to the Sports Plus and Entertainment Plus add-ons that increase the overall number of channels available, YouTube TV’s 4K Plus bundle doesn’t improve the channel lineup at all. Instead, this $19.99 per month upgrade is designed to further improve the live TV and on demand streaming experience through additional premium features.
- Unlimited streams (at home)
- Watch recordings offline
On paper, this is a highly useful add-on, but there are some caveats to be aware of. While subscribers do gain access to 4K playback, this is only for select events and content. In addition, while the add-on does increases the number of simultaneous streams to unlimited, that is only when those streams are being accessed at home. Likewise, although subscribers do gain the ability to download videos for watching without an internet connection, there are some limitations here as well. For example, when a video is downloaded on a device, the same video becomes unavailable to watch on other devices until it is deleted.
YouTube TV add-ons summary
YouTube TV offers a number of add-ons to help increase and improve the base subscription. While most of the add-ons are for individual premium channels, the Sports Plus and Entertainment Plus add-ons offer the opportunity to bundle more than one channel together. Then there’s the 4K Plus add-on which doesn’t add any channels, but does add more premium features to enrich the overall experience.
As is always the case with add-ons, subscribers will need to take into consideration the higher cost. Each YouTube TV add-on is priced differently and, when adding more than one, the cost of the overall subscription can increase significantly. Of course, these YouTube TV add-ons can easily be added and removed on a monthly basis, so subscribers are free to cycle between them to help keep the cost of a subscription as low as possible.
Published August 2021