The proposed YouTube TV -- another digital service of TV networks -- feels a lot like other virtual multiple video program distributors services in the market -- and then some.
YouTube TV is coming to market with a no-contract $35 a month package that includes all major broadcast networks and big name cable channels. Will that be enough to shift -- in a big way -- those TV consumers who have higher priced traditional pay TV providers?
YouTube TV made deals with all the major TV companies which also have broadcast network -- NBCUniversal, Disney-ABC Television, 21st Century Fox, and CBS Corp., as well as those companies associated big cable TV networks: ESPN, USA Network, Fox News and FX.
Big viewing TV networks are a big marketing deal -- and, in much of the same way, they also know about YouTube, which has been around now for a better part 15 years.
From a major TV network group perspective, Disney-ABC Television can get comfort that sports network ESPN is included in YouTube TV basic package. For a long time, analysts worried -- or predicted -- that sports networks such as ESPN could be in trouble in the future world of digital “virtual” services providing TV networks.
“[The deal means] a very smart player, at least initially, believes the broadcaster argument
that their content can anchor skinny bundles, to the exclusion of other networks,” writes Barton Crockett, media analyst for FBR & Co. “It says these conglomerates can use their
broadcast and sports networks to support their other networks. “ &nb
On the outs -- at least at the moment -- pure-play cable network groups such as Discovery Communications, Time Warner, Scripps Interactive Networks, for example -- that haven’t made deals with YouTube TV.
Barclays media analyst Kannan Venkateshwar writes: “The hurdle here is likely to be the unwillingness of media companies to offer a small enough bundle to fit within Google’s $35/month price.”
Still, all this should make consumers feel generally good about the YouTube package -- which also includes unlimited DVR storage, as well as including original programming from YouTube Red.
And there is the awareness factor of YouTube: Google says its video platform now delivers 1 billion hours of content being watched per day. The question is: Can the value of that brand name -- mostly offering short-form somewhat less professional video for many -- translate to longer premium TV programming?
Find some comfort in that.