Why YouTube TV Said No to CNN, TBS, & TNT – A Look Into The Difficulties of Live TV Streaming


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Cord cutters often expect that a streaming service will happily take any channel it can get its hands on; however, it seems that is not always true.

Recently the CEO of Turner, the company behind HBO, TNT, TBS, and more, told shareholders that YouTube TV turned down an offer to include CNN, TBS, and TNT as part of their deal.

“We said, ‘We would like you to carry us,’ and they said, ‘No,’” Martin told investors at MoffettNathanson Media & Communications, according to Forbes.

So why did YouTube TV pass on these well-known channels? It seems pricing was the issue. Google wanted to keep the cost of YouTube TV around $35 a month. Adding more channels would have pushed it over that price point—something YouTube TV was unwilling to do.

That is the battle all streaming services face. How to offer as much content as possible while keeping the price down. Everyone would love access to everything but often are unwilling to pay for it. The questions now are what is the breaking point and what are the right packages to include.

Some services such as Sling TV are trying to address this issue by offering add-ons in an effort to let you build your own package. Others such as PlayStation Vue and DIRECTV NOW are working on offering pre-built bundles that are larger but cost more.

What is the right way to address this balance? For now no one seems to know; however, everyone seems to be trying out different ways to address the issue. We are likely a few years away from figuring out what is the best way to address this issue.

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