Last week, Google and ViacomCBS announced a deal for YouTube TV to carry 14 different Viacom cable channels. Said channels include: BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, MTV Classic, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., NickToons, Paramount Network, TeenNick, TV Land, and VH1. The channels will debut this summer; the fiscal aspects of the deal weren’t announced.
Viacom’s been the one media conglomerate whose cable channels and shows are harder to come by on streaming services (live or on-demand). Until their recent merger with CBS, they seemed more interested in shoring up their cable TV arms above all else. The exceptions seemed to be:
- A handful of shows for services like Netflix and Amazon Video.
- On-demand subscription service CBS All Access.
- Philo TV, a live streaming subscription service that actually carries the Viacom channels (but not much else).
- The ad-supported free streaming service Pluto TV.
Thus, this deal with YouTube TV is a pretty big deal. It’s also for a live streaming service that carries almost all of the other major media conglomerates’ main cable channels. Fans of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and other Nickelodeon shows can watch those alongside Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Checking the other major live TV streaming services, the only other one with the Viacom, Disney, and WarnerMedia channels as of this writing is AT&T TV Now. At $55/month, it costs $5 more than YouTube TV.
That said, the main downside is it might lead to YouTube TV raising its price to make up for the extra cost of adding the ViacomCBS channels (it’s happened before). Given live TV streaming services are already pricey, that might be something for users to take into account in streaming budgeting.