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YouTube is a big name in the world of streaming. YouTube TV is the digital giant's live-TV platform, which features tons of sports networks, including most of the ones you need to watch major sporting events, as well as regular season games for the more popular leagues. But if you're interested in smaller leagues, you may have trouble finding the right networks on this service.
With YouTube TV, NFL Network is available with the basic plan, which is a big plus. And if you're looking for MLB games on YouTube TV, MLB.TV can be purchased as an add-on through the platform. There are a lot of networks to choose from with this service, making the price point worth considering depending on what you're looking for.
Unlike many of its competitors, YouTube TV offers one basic plan that's $73/mo. This plan features many of the better-known sports networks, such as ESPN, FS1, and CBS Sports Network. Baseball, basketball, and football fans will also be glad to know that MLB Network, NBA TV, and NFL Network -- which all show some regular season and playoff games -- all come with the basic plan. This is a perk of YouTube TV over many traditional cable packages, which require an upgrade to access those channels.
YouTube TV doesn't cover everything for sports fans, though. NFL Redzone requires the Sports Plus add-on, for instance. And many NBA and MLB games will only be available using the NBA League Pass and MLB.TV, which are sold as individual add-ons (see pricing below) but give you access to almost every out-of-market NBA and MLB game. Some of the sports networks that cater to more specific audiences, such as Eleven Sports and Zona Futol, are missing from YouTube TV altogether.
Sports fans looking for live games should be able to catch most of the major sports events using either the basic plan or one of the add-ons. However, viewers who want to follow more of the niche leagues or regional teams may have trouble finding games on YouTube TV.
|ACC Network Extra||✔*|
|BeIN Sports Español||X|
|Big Ten Network||✔|
|CBS Sports Network||✔|
|Fox Soccer Plus||$11/mo.|
|fubo Sports Network||X|
|GinX eSports TV||X|
|MLB Strike Zone||X|
|PAC12 Network (certain areas)||X|
*must sign in via ESPN app
YouTube TV also offers a few add-ons that will allow you to expand your lineup of sports streaming options. The best all-around option is the YouTube TV Sports Plus add-on, which includes 19 additional sports networks.
YouTube TV also supports the out-of-market sports services MLB.TV and NBA League Pass, both of which are available as add-ons. Spanish-speaking subscribers can also add several Spanish-language sports broadcasts with the Spanish Plus add-on.
The most important YouTube TV add-on for sports is Sports Plus, which costs $11/mo. on top of the regular subscription fee. The 19 sports channels included with Sports Plus are BelN Sports, BelN Sports Xtra, Billiard TV, FanDuel TV, FanDuel Racing, Fight Network, Fox Soccer Plus, Impact Wrestling, MAVTV, NFL RedZone, Outside TV+, PlayersTV, PokerGo+, SportsGrid, Stadium, Stadium Overflow (1, 2, and 3), and VSIN.
With YouTube TV, you can also add favorite teams and leagues to your streaming library, so it will automatically record games when they're on. This is a handy feature so you don't have to remember when games start. Keep in mind that NFL RedZone can only be recorded as the full eight hours, so you'll have to add the whole block to your library.
The networks included in the Sports Plus add-on come as a set package, so you won't be able to get them separately.
YouTube TV also allows you to access MLB.TV as an add-on for $30/mo. This is Major League Baseball's out-of-market streaming service, which gives you access to most games for teams outside your local area. However, games broadcast on local channels in your area will be blacked out. In some cases, you might be able to catch those games on a regular network channel using YouTube TV, depending on where you live.
NBA League Pass is also available as an add-on for $15/mo. Like MLB.TV, this only gives you access to out-of-market games, so you'll have to watch for locally restricted blackouts. YouTube TV states that the games you can watch using NBA League Pass "are in addition to the ones available on TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and your local networks."
YouTube TV will automatically list NBA League Pass games on the Home Screen and Live Tab an hour before the game starts. You can also select which audio feed you want for the game, so you can hear the announcer commentary for your team, which is a nice feature to have for streaming.
Keep in mind that if you cancel your YouTube TV subscription, you'll also lose access to NBA League Pass. Unfortunately, NBA League Pass is unavailable to stream on iPhone and iPad at the moment.
Spanish-speaking sports fans have the option of adding the Spanish Plus add-on for $15/mo. This package adds BelN Sports Español, BelN Sports Xtra Español, ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, and TyC Sports to your sports channel lineup. It also includes a variety of Spanish-language news and entertainment networks, for a total of 29 extra channels.
Includes TBS and TNT -- Unlike some competitors, YouTube TV gives you access to TBS and TNT. If you're a pro basketball fan, TNT is essential, because it features quite a few games during the regular season, thanks to the NBA on TNT. College basketball's March Madness also airs select games on TBS and TBT. TBS will also air some MLB games, and both channels include a variety of national NHL regular-season games, as well.
Unlimited cloud DVR -- YouTube TV allows you to record as many hours of programming as you want. While many streaming platforms have limited Cloud DVR or offer recording space upgrades for an extra fee, unlimited recording is a great feature for sports fans.
Stream with multiple devices -- You'll be able to stream YouTube TV on three devices at once. This is a great feature if you have numerous sports fans in your household, and no one can agree on which game to watch.
Expensive subscription cost -- At $73/mo., YouTube TV is one of the more expensive streaming options. You'll get a lot of channels for that price, but if you're just watching sports, there may be other more affordable options. For instance, Sling TV offers many of the same channels with smaller plans that start at $35/mo.
Missing many Regional Sports Networks -- Although YouTube TV does include RSNs in some areas, the platform is currently missing the Bally Sports regional networks, as well as the YES Network, which airs New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games.
College games may require an add-on -- If you're a fan of soccer or college sports, there's a good chance you'll need the Sports Plus add-on to watch the games you want. The Sports Plus add-on includes Fox Soccer Plus and BelN Sports for soccer fans, along with the Stadium networks, which broadcast a lot of college sports.
YouTube TV's sports offerings are fairly extensive, and most fans will be happy with the basic package or the Sports Plus add-on.
If you're looking for a lot of regional sports coverage or out-of-market games for your favorite teams, though, you may not be able to find them on YouTube TV -- or you may have to pay a lot more. Before you sign up, it's worth comparing YouTube TV with other services like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and Fubo to see which offers the best sports lineup for you.
You may even be able to get a YouTube TV free trial so you can test it out before you commit.