YouTube TV is introducing a new feature that may revolutionize the way people watch live TV, and specifically for sports fans. The new option, called “multiview,” allows users to watch up to four preselected streams at the same time, making it easy for sports fans to watch multiple games and keep up with scores without constantly switching channels. However, it is important to note that this feature will only be available to select users in the United States during its early access phase.
While the company had been rumored to be working on the multiview feature, it has now officially launched it to a select group of users. At launch, the feature will only be available for sports content. Users will be able to switch between streams, adjust the audio and captions, and jump in and out of a fullscreen view of a game.
To make this feature possible, YouTube TV had to get creative with its use of technology. Typically, a multiview experience would require a high-end user device to process and play back multiple streams at once, then show them as one cohesive view. However, YouTube TV does not require high-end equipment, which meant the company had to find a way to do more of the processing on the server side instead.
To bring the multiview feature to life, the company was able to repurpose technology the YouTube Live team had already built to enable multiple creators to go live together. This allowed it to bring the feature to market faster. Additionally, YouTube says that multiview could present new opportunities for creators in the future, such as being able to add their own commentary to videos.
The company says that this slow rollout of multiview will allow it to collect feedback from subscribers before it becomes more broadly available, hopefully by NFL football season later this fall. Over time, YouTube will also add more functionality to multiview, including the option to customize your own multiview streams. It plans to expand multiview to the main YouTube app as well.
Multiview is the latest feature and technology that YouTube TV has introduced in an effort to appeal to sports fans. Other features include key plays, fantasy view, and 4K streaming. Additionally, YouTube TV recently announced a landmark streaming deal with NFL Sunday Ticket, which had previously only been available through DirecTV in the United States. This multiyear deal is worth $2 billion per season and is likely to help YouTube TV attract even more sports fans.