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Here are the channels you’re actually watching on YouTube TV [Poll results]

Last week, we asked you what channels you actually watch on YouTube TV, as the service has ramped up in both cost and number of channels. Let’s take a look at what you told us.

In all honesty, the subject of how many YouTube TV channels people actually watch came up as a conversation topic among 9to5Google staff. Some of us believed that the average person probably only watches content from about five channels, with those specific channels varying wildly from person to person.

Last weekend, we turned the question to you, our readers, to learn what channels you watch on YouTube TV. For the purposes of our survey, a watched channel includes one that is watched live, through DVR, or on-demand. With over 5,000 responses received, we’re incredibly thankful to all of those who took the time for our survey.

The most interesting statistic, to us, is that from 5,866 respondents subscribed to YouTube TV, our survey received 5,797 unique combinations of channels watched. From this, one could argue that no singular channel package could ever be perfect for everyone.

Number of channels watched

While our own predictions put the estimated number of channels watched somewhere around 5, the actual average turns out to be 18, with a median of 16. Some respondents even claimed to watch over 80 different channels on YouTube TV!

Pie chart indicating number of YouTube TV channels watched
1 to 5 channels: 519
6 to 10: 1089
11 to 15: 1180
16 to 20: 1018
21 to 25: 734
26 to 30: 496
31 to 35: 330
36 to 40: 222
41 or more: 277

Most watched channels

It should come as no surprise that the top four most commonly watched channels on YouTube TV are four of the five major broadcast networks: CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX, in that order. The fifth-major broadcast network, The CW, landed significantly lower, in the 37th slot.

Setting aside the broadcast networks, the list of most watched YouTube TV channels segments strongly toward sports, with ESPN and ESPN 2 in the 5th and 7th slots, respectively, followed by FS1 in 9th place. In 6th place and 8th place are TNT and TBS, two Turner channels that pair their original content with games from the NBA, MLB, NCAA, and more.

Bar chart of most watched YouTube TV channels:
1. CBS
2. NBC
3. ABC
4. FOX
6. TNT
7. ESPN 2
8. TBS
9. FS1
10. Discovery
11. HGTV
12. FX
13. CNN
14. Food Network
15. NFL Network
16. National Geographic
17. USA
18. PBS
19. AMC
20. FS2

For an interesting slice into the networks that are truly essential to some, let’s look specifically at the most watched channels for those who only watch between one and five channels. Setting aside the major broadcast networks and ESPN, this group sees news networks like CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC reach the upper ranks for essential channels.

Bar chart of most watched YouTube TV channels among people who only watch up to 5 networks
1. NBC
2. CBS
3. ABC
5. CNN
6. FOX
8. FOX News Channel
10. Food Network
11. PBS
12. Discovery
13. FS1
14. ESPN2
15. NFL Network
16. TNT
17. TCM
18. FOX Business
19. CNBC
20. AMC

Least watched channels

Of course, there’s also the bottom of the pack, the channels that the fewest 9to5Google readers claimed to actively watch on YouTube TV.

Bar graph of least watched YouTube TV channels
20. Court TV
19. NBC News Now
18. Teen Nick
17. StartTV
16. QVC
15. Newsy
14. Universal Kids
13. SNY
12. MyNetworkTV
11. BET Her
10. CNBC World
8. Cheddar
7. TYT
5. Telemundo
4. Dabl
3. NBC Universo

YouTube TV Add-ons

In addition to the base set of channels that YouTube TV offers, subscribers can also purchase add-ons for the service, adding either more channels or the contents of an entire streaming service.

By far and away, according to our poll, the most popular add-on for YouTube TV subscribers is HBO Max, with over 15% of respondents having the service either as a standalone add-on or as part of the YouTube TV Entertainment Plus bundle. Not counting the bundled subscribers, HBO Max is over three times as popular as add-ons like STARZ and Showtime.

Bar graph of most popular YouTube TV add-ons
1. HBO Max
2. Starz
3. Showtime
4. YouTube TV Sports Plus
5. HBO
7. Acorn
8. Epix
9. YouTube TV Entertainment Plus
10. Hallmark Movies Now
11. CuriosityStream
12. AMC Premiere
13. Cinemax
14. NBA League Pass
15. Shudder
17. Sundance Now

Meanwhile, the most popular add-on bundle for YouTube TV is the Sports Plus package, which brings together seven additional sports networks.

More on YouTube TV:

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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