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What's the Story? Much ado about YouTube TV's meteoric rise

YouTube TV is becoming a primary player in the pay-TV market, hitting the 8 million subscriber mark. Meanwhile, traditional pay-TV players are treading water as more subscribers cut the cord.

At a Glance

  • YouTube TV totals 8 million subscribers and dominates the MVPD arena (01:04)
  • ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. form a sports streaming bundle to launch this fall (04:46)
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger plans to take ESPN direct-to-consumer in 2025 (06:31)

Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner joins the podcast to discuss why YouTube TV is performing better than other virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs).

We cover how the streaming video service recently hit the 8 million mark for subscribers and is becoming a primary player in the pay-TV market. We also discuss some new streaming sports bundles and how ESPN's plan to go direct-to-consumer could impact the broader pay-TV market.

For a lightly edited transcript, please click the caption button in the video toolbar. 

Here are a few topics we cover:

  • YouTube TV totals 8 million subscribers and dominates the MVPD arena (01:04)

  • Why the rest of the pay-TV market has been struggling (03:19)

  • ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. form a sports streaming bundle to launch this fall (04:46)

  • Disney CEO Bob Iger plans to take ESPN direct-to-consumer in 2025 (06:31)

  • Rate of cord cutting for traditional pay-TV subscribers (08:02)

  • How ESPN's move to direct-to-consumer could impact the broader pay-TV market (10:08)

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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