I’ve been a YouTube TV customer from the start, and during that time, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the service. From its beginnings as a promising alternative for those who wanted to cut the cord to later disappointments as certain RSNs (Regional Sports Networks) started dropping off, though somehow the price kept increasing. One thing YouTube TV did give us, though, was a cable-tv streaming alternative with no buffering and an enviable cloud-based DVR.
It’s been five years since YouTube TV first launched, and the company announced a very important milestone via a blog post. As of June 2022, the company has acquired a total of five million subscribers and trialers, as well as gained availability nationwide with more than 100 channels, and offered plans geared towards families and Spanish speakers. Additionally, YouTube TV touted the below unique features that their service has added throughout the past five years:
• No Spoiler Mode: to hide scores for specific sports teams and leagues so you don’t get, well, spoilers
• Key Plays: to see real-time team and player stats, key plays, and league scores while watching sports
• Fantasy View: link your existing fantasy football account so you view your team and league performance in real-time while watching NFL games
• Kickoff notifications: get a notification when a new live airing is starting
• Segments: you can jump directly to different sections of news segmentsSource: YouTube Blog
YouTube TV also shared curious tidbits about its journey, such as the fact that when the project began, engineers climbed onto the roof of YouTube HQ with an antenna to develop a prototype, thus why they almost called the service “YouTube Air” and named the project codename “Unplugged.” We were also treated to some top five lists from the service’s lifetime, such as the fact that “Yellowstone” is the top most DVR’d show, “Friends” is the top series that viewers are nostalgic for, and that Formula 1 watch time has doubled among YouTube TV members over the past year.
Even with all its faults, YouTube TV deserves its props for all its accomplishments in the past five years. I remain a loyal customer despite its shortcomings because I know there isn’t another service like it, and it’s still worth the money for me.