NESN without cable: YouTube TV now has Red Sox and Bruins games
YouTube TV debuted in Boston this week, bringing a channel lineup that includes New England Sports Network.
NESN is among 53 channels that Boston customers will be able to live stream through YouTube TV, including other popular networks like AMC, National Geographic and Bravo.
The live streaming service poses yet another challenge to cable TV companies in the New England market such as Comcast, RCN and Spectrum.
Traditional cable and satellite TV customers have continued to drop nationally. Research firm SNL Kagan reported that this week that pay TV companies lost 976,000 customers in the second quarter.
For $35 per month, subscribers to YouTube TV will get both local and national channels. For anyone looking to ditch their cable subscription and save money, the real key to savings will be getting an inexpensive Internet-only subscription.
My guide on how to get Internet without cable can give you some know-how to knock down your bill.
YouTube TV focuses on bringing local, national channels
Google’s venture into streaming live TV channels over the Internet is now available in more than half of U.S. households. YouTube TV debuted in five cities back in April.
Plans are underway to add 17 more markets including Cleveland, Denver and St. Louis in the coming weeks, according to cnet. Below is a graphic of the channel lineup offered in Boston.
YouTube TV is competing with similar services like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue and Hulu with Live TV. Many of these companies are in a race to add local NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates to their lineups.
YouTube is offering a free trial to attract new customers, and is even giving away a Chromecast to paying customers. Competitors like DirecTV Now have been doing similar campaigns. DirecTV Now offers a free 7-day trial. Customers who prepay for two months of their service can get a free Roku Premiere.
But YouTube TV was wise to obtain rights to live stream NESN. PS Vue is the only other live streaming service that carries the network.
Having NESN on PS Vue gave a much needed alternative to cable for a lot of sports fans around New England. But those same sports fans subscribing to Vue might be shopping around again since Sony announced a $10 price increase that will hit many longtime subscribers this fall.
What do I need to stream YouTube TV?
For now, streaming YouTube TV is pretty limited. The only way to watch it on a large TV screen is by using Google Chromecast or AirPlay via Apple TV. There are apps for Android and iOS that work on smartphones and tablets. A Google executive told cnet that “this fall we’ll be rolling out a number of different living room solutions.”
App support for Roku, Fire TV and Android TV, a Google-owned software, could soon be on the horizon.
Here’s my review: YouTube TV: live streaming that easily replaces cable.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble