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By Brad Tuttle
January 9, 2020
simpson33—Getty Images/iStockphoto

YouTube TV is kicking off 2020 with an extra-good deal to tempt you into trying what is arguably the best live-streaming TV service in the marketplace.

Normally, the YouTube TV free trial last seven days. That’s more or less the standard for live-streaming TV free-trial periods. But in a new promotion available through January 15, new subscribers can get a YouTube free trial that lasts two weeks. If you ultimately decide you don’t want to become a paying subscriber, you simply need to cancel before the 14-day free trial ends.

Google’s YouTube TV is not the cheapest streaming TV option, but it very well could offer cord cutters the best combination of service and value — and the best alternative to cable. Now there’s extra incentive to check it out, at no cost.

YouTube TV costs $49.99 per month after the free trial expires, and it comes with 70+ channels, including the major sports networks (ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports), plus local network TV, AMC, Disney Channel, TNT, and more. YouTube TV doesn’t have all the big cable channels, though; among others, Comedy Central, A&E, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, and NFL Network are not available on YouTube TV.

Here’s how some other live-streaming TV services (and current free-trial deals) compare to YouTube TV:

Sling is cheaper, at a cost of $30 per month after the promotional period ends. With Sling TV’s base packages you get roughly 30 to 35 channels, and you must choose between ESPN or Fox sports channels. Sling is not currently promoting any free trials, but it is offering a special introductory rate of $20 per month for the first month.
Hulu + Live TV costs more than YouTube TV, with packages starting at $54.99 per month that include 60+ channels, including ESPN and several Fox channels (including Fox Sports), but no AMC, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, NBA TV, or NFL Network. The one notable upside for Hulu + Live TV is that subscribers automatically get the classic Hulu service, a $5.99 per month value that gives you access to stream thousands of on-demand shows, movies, and Hulu originals. If you’re a new subscriber, you can check out Hulu during a seven-day free trial.
AT&T Now live-streaming TV service starts at $65 per month for 45+ channels. While that may seem expensive, the service comes with HBO — which costs $14.99 a month on its own. AT&T Now has a seven-day free trial for new customers.

Live-streaming TV prices have been inching higher over the past few years. When YouTube TV launched in 2017, it offered fewer channels (roughly 40) but cost just $35 a month, and the free trial lasted one full month.

Even though you’ll pay more per month nowadays for live-streaming TV services, they’re generally still cheaper than comparable traditional cable or satellite TV packages. If nothing else, streaming TV services come with far fewer of the fees that are standard on cable bills — charges that add up to an estimated $450 per year for the average customer.

In light of such fees — on top of the normal monthly cable prices, which start at around $40 but can easily go over $100 — it’s easy to see why the rate of people canceling cable packages hit an all-time high last year.

Big Cable seems to finally be taking concrete steps to stop the bleeding. This week, Verizon announced it was eliminating cable bundles, the Wall Street Journal reported, and that it would instead make it easier for customers to buy cable TV packages and internet service à la carte, starting at $50 and $55 per month, respectively. Verizon also said the company would let customers sign up directly with it for YouTube TV for $50 per month, though there’s no mention of a free trial.

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