This summer I wrote about quitting cable and how much I’ve saved by switching to YouTube TV. Overall, it’s been a great transition, and YouTube TV is easily one of the best cable TV alternatives out there.
So far I love the library that makes it easy to add shows and movies to your DVR, the excellent phone interface when I watch TV in bed, and how customizable the channel guide is.
But there’s one thing I really miss about YouTube TV — and there’s no solution in sight.
Lately, I’ve been very interested in watching the New York Yankees not only because they’re playing well, but also because of Aaron Judge’s historic pursuit of Roger Maris’ AL home run record.
YouTube TV is incomplete when it comes to sports
Last night Judge set that record, but I had to settle for SportsCenter highlights. And that’s because there was no way for me to watch Yankees vs. Blue Jays on YouTube TV. You just can’t watch the YES Network on YouTube TV. There isn’t even a paid add-on.
In fact, DirecTV Stream is currently the only streaming service that offers YES, and I’m not going to sign up for an entirely different $89-per-month live streaming option. I love the Yankees but not so much. This is a league-wide issue, by the way, as DirecTV Stream is the only way to watch many (if not most) regional sports channels, as our guide to live streaming sports explains.
The worst part was searching YouTube TV for Yankees, finding a result about MLB Network, and then being told it was “blocked in my area.” I slammed at home, unlike Judge (who was constantly being run).
Yankees fans aren’t completely shut out on YouTube TV
To be fair, there are some Yankees games that can be streamed through other services. For example, Judge could have broken the record during last week’s live Apple TV Plus coverage of the Yanks vs. Red Sox game (this series also aired on YouTube TV via ESPN and Fox). And I’ve adjusted to that. But you never know when history will be made, and that’s the point.
There are other things I like about YouTube TV as a sports fan. Key Plays is an amazing feature that lets you catch highlights of a game in progress that you just started streaming. It works for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football and college basketball games.
I also like that I was able to subscribe to NFL Red Zone in time for the NFL season so I could watch all the highlights from across the league live and see “every touchdown of every game.” (Red Zone is also available as an add-on with Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, and Fubo, among others) This is part of the Sports Plus option, which increased my total monthly price from $64.99 per month to $79.99 .
Outlook: Yankees fans are in a waiting game
But none of this solves the problem I and every Yankees fan face that cuts the cable but doesn’t have a DirecTV stream. Yes, MLB playoff games will be available via YouTube TV on channels like ESPN, Fox and TBS. But I’d love to see Aaron Judge make history with his 62nd thing, and that could very well happen at YES, and before the playoffs start.
The Yankees play the Orioles this Friday on Prime Video, but the following four games are all on YES (or MLB Network if you’re not in the market).
There is good news. Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, said on WFAN this summer (opens in new tab) that YES Network would launch its own streaming service, but no timeline was given.
“You will see direct-to-consumer packaging from YES very, very soon. It’s a balance,” Levine said.
Well very very soon can’t come soon enough for me.