YouTube TV Move Asks: What Is Your Comfort Level?

Familiarity and comfort go a long way in TV land.

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 sp;                          

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.

2 comments about "YouTube TV Move Asks: What Is Your Comfort Level?".
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  1. brian ring from ring digital llc, March 2, 2017 at 4:59 p.m.

    So many important advantages that YouTube has:
    1) Rock solid streaming platform, rock solid apps. Few (none?) others can handle millions of concurrents the way YouTube can. They also have had TV apps for a long time compared to for example Fb, Tw.
    2) By far the most popular live streaming platform today. (Yes, I have data. Check my twitter at brianlring) 
    3) Real-time highlights! YouTube is one of the go-to places for teams and leagues to post highlights and condensed games.
    4) Humility. Based on Tim Katz comments yesterday at #GSBSIC conference, YouTube sees itself as a platform for Networks to innovate - and given existing highlight assets which no analyst is considering, YouTube is going to be in a position to be the first Pay TV platform that has an innovative UX combining stable Live, massive DVR, and personalized Highlights.
    5) YouTube TV has potential to be as innovative as NFL RedZone. Which was invented at DIRECTV by John Ward's team. John will be on my panel at NAB Show this year. Check it out!
    Kind regards,
    Brian Ring

  2. brian ring from ring digital llc replied, March 2, 2017 at 5:02 p.m.

    Forgot one more thing - YouTube has access to at least some of the RSNs! This is a major timing boost for them because streaming the local ch's is only just in the past year available even for Pay TV particularly around baseball. So YouTube is in a key position for that sub-niche.

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