YouTube TV is finally fixing the biggest problem with multiview

College basketball in multiview on YouTube TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The sheer size of today’s latest and greatest televisions has made multiview — the feature by which you can watch multiple channels at once — a must-have feature. That’s been good for services like YouTube TV, ESPN+, Fubo, and Apple TV, which have their own implementations.

Multiview has been particularly important for YouTube TV. It’s the most popular live service in the U.S. with more than 5 million subscribers. And it just finished its first season as the new home of NFL Sunday Ticket, which by all accounts was a pretty major success.

YouTube TV’s multiview implementation has always been a bit frustrating, though, because you couldn’t actually choose which games (or channels, since it also works with news and weather) you watched. Instead, we’ve had to make do with YouTube TV’s own packages. It looks like that’s finally starting to change, though. A post on Reddit first noted a change in the user interface, which has since been confirmed by The Streamable. You’ll soon be able to build your own multiview bundles. The confirmation notes that it’s rolling out slowly (which is the norm within the Google universe), and that custom multiview will first be available within the NBA League Pass add-on, and with college basketball games. That all makes sense as those really are the only sports with multiple games going on at this time of year. (Sorry, NHL. No love for you.)

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And it wouldn’t surprise us to see it made more available in time for the NCAA basketball tournaments in March. That would mark a year since multiview debuted on YouTube TV, and would give the service plenty of time to make sure it’s worked out any bugs before next fall’s football seasons kick off. (It definitely changed the game in its first season of football.)

That’s all good stuff, but it’s still a little odd that it’s taken YouTube TV so long given that other services have let you choose which channels you wanted to have in their multiview implementations. PlayStation Vue — which doesn’t exist anymore — was doing custom multiview in 2019. Apple TV has multiview for Major League Baseball and MLS Season Pass, and ESPN+ has had multview for years.

We’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, though, particularly since nobody’s charging extra (yet) for multivew. Let’s hope that doesn’t change. In the meantime, YouTube TV remains $72 a month and is available on pretty much any modern device.

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