Immediately before this year's Super Bowl, Google TV's streaming TV service is being rolled out nationwide by Google, the company announced this morning. The service has been steadily expanding since its debut in April 2017 and became widely available less than a year ago, when it reached the top 100 US or 85 percent of the country markets. Today, YouTube TV begins expanding into another 95 markets, covering more than 98 percent of US households.
The remaining markets will follow shortly thereafter, according to YouTube.
The company's strategy was not to start a limited service nationwide, just to demand broad availability. Instead, it focused on doing business with local partner stations before launching any market. This allowed subscribers access to at least three of the four major major broadcasters (CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX), including local news and sports.
This was a certain competitor for YouTube TV The service included no local stations or only in selected markets. With a few exceptions, this was not the case on YouTube TV.
In addition to commencing its nationwide availability, YouTube TV also said it now offers full local coverage, ie feeds from the four largest broadcasters ̵
Despite a $ 5 / month price increase last March, YouTube TV has grown rapidly. At the beginning of the year, there were already more than 300,000 subscribers, and by July there were almost 800,000, according to reports. It is reasonable to assume that the service has since grown to at least one million subscribers, but not anymore, but YouTube TV will not share its numbers.
Even at the mark of millions of subscribers, the Hulu service would leave behind with Live TV, which reached this milestone in September. DirecTV Now and Sling TV are now much larger – 2.3 million and 1.8 million (also last fall).
On paper, YouTube TV has a compelling offer, with over 60 TV channels for $ 40 a month and unlimited DVR and support for 6 accounts per household. The company has made some notable affiliate partnerships to raise awareness, including one with the MLB for the World Series and one with the NBA.
However, it has sometimes stumbled, as is the case with many of these streamers during the World Cup shutdown for a long time. This can make people nervous when relying on live TV services like these for major sporting events where it is crucial not to miss a single game. With nationwide availability, YouTube TV must prove capable of broadcasting the Super Bowl or risking further damage to its brand.