YouTube TV has made some big changes recently and especially when it comes to live sports. For example, the confirmation that the live TV streaming service was taking over the residential rights to NFL’s Sunday Ticket for the 2023 season and beyond.
Around the same time, YouTube TV also dropped a big hint to suggest that its multiview feature would arrive in time for NFL season. It technically has, as it is already now available to all subscribers. However, the closer we get to the start of the season, the more it starts to feel like multiview is just a way to cover over Sunday Ticket’s limitations.
To explain, NFL Sunday ticket is limited to just two concurrent streams. Regardless of how many streams YouTube TV offers with its base plan, and even if paying for the 4K Plus add-on which unlocks an unlimited number of streams (at home), Sunday Ticket subscribers are still limited to just the two streams.
The big benefit with multiview is that it makes it possible to watch multiple games at the same time on the same screen with four feeds the absolute maximum. This means that multiview makes it possible to watch more games at the same time than someone paying for Sunday Ticket can on different devices.
In reality, many homes will find that multiview perfectly meets their needs, and that’s fine. However, there are going to be homes that use a multi-screen setup to watch football, and they are going to quickly find out that they run into issues with streaming Sunday Ticket.
In theory, those wanting to watch on more than two different screens at the same time will need to consider purchasing another Sunday Ticket subscription. As not only are there only two simultaneous streams, but there’s no option to pay to upgrade to more.
While it may have been possible in the past to order more set-top boxes to use with multiple TVs, that’s not an option with YouTube TV either.
Obviously, bars and other commercial venues stream on more than two screens at the same time, so it is possible. The difference is that the commercial side of the Sunday Ticket product is not offered by YouTube TV.
While DirecTV provided both residential and commercial users with Sunday Ticket, YouTube TV only purchased the residential rights. EverPass Media, a entity owned by the NFL and RedBird Capital Partners, was confirmed as taking over control of the side of the Sunday Ticket business that’s sold to bars and other commercial venues.
This separation is likely to be why YouTube TV offers fewer concurrent streams with Sunday Ticket than it does with its base plan, and it’s also likely to be the reason why there won’t ever be an option to add more streams.
Instead, YouTube TV will be hoping football fans find its multiview support on one screen (or two at the very most) to be enough.