YouTube Adds More Basketball to Live TV Service in Turner Deal

(Bloomberg) -- YouTube has struck a deal with Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting to add channels with some of the most popular sports programming to its year-old live TV service, a cheaper alternative to traditional cable and satellite packages.

The Alphabet Inc.-owned video company will raise the price of YouTube TV by $5 to account for the addition of the new channels, which include TNT, TBS and CNN. That brings the overall cost to $40 a month. YouTube TV also added networks run by the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball to the base package.

Turner was the biggest hole in YouTube’s TV service, which has focused on live sports to complement the amateur creators, music videos and late-night clips already available for free. A division of Time Warner Inc., Turner possesses rights to the NBA, MLB and college basketball, as well as a leading news network and general entertainment programming.

“For sports lovers in particular, we’ve got you covered,’’ YouTube said in a blog post. The service already includes channels from CBS Corp., Comcast Corp., Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox Inc. The service sponsored baseball’s World Series, and bought an advertisement during the Super Bowl

YouTube TV is one of at least half a dozen services offering consumers a smaller selection of channels than they get in traditional cable and satellite packages for less money and with additional features. Dish Network Corp.’s Sling TV is the oldest and also has the most subscribers, while AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu and FuboTV all boast more than 100,000 subscribers.

Media companies like Time Warner are looking to these online packages to lure customers back to TV, and offset subscriber declines for traditional TV packages.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.