I signed up for YouTube TV in 2018 to watch a fun Indiana Pacers regular season and playoff series. (They lost.)

I’ve been a subscriber ever since even as costs have increased (the service is now $64.99 per month, up from $40/month when I signed up and up from $35/month when it debuted in 2017) because it remains the best option in terms of features and inventory. (And as someone whose entire income relied on watching sports television, it was sort of necessary.)

That said, in its current form, the service is undeniably less useful to me than it was back in 2018. From a fandom perspective, I’ve lost the ability to watch both the Pacers and the Cubs in recent years thanks to Sinclair’s inability or unwillingness to work out a deal with streaming services like YouTube TV. (Something even less likely to happen now that they’re set to launch their own standalone service, which will be priced at nearly 1/3rd of YouTube TV’s cost for much less content. Absurd!)

That declining participation of RSNs has made YouTube TV somewhat less appealing to a lot of sports viewers who, like me, signed up in hopes of an affordable way to watch their favorite teams while also having a wider array of linear channels at their disposal. Whenever prices have increased in the intervening years, the hikes were tied to adding cable inventory that wasn’t sports-related (especially the Discovery-owned reality networks), while local sports options dropped off.

All that said, YouTube TV does still offer plenty of national sports coverage, along with the ability to watch local networks. And with football season approaching, a new feature could help assuage some of the issues currently faced by sports fans. According to a report from Protocol citing information given at an internal partner meeting, YouTube TV users could soon have the ability to watch up to four channels simultaneously.

Finally, YouTube is also looking to update its YouTube TV service with a few new features. Chief among them: YouTube TV will gain something called Mosaic Mode, which will allow subscribers to watch up to four live feeds at the same time by dividing the TV screen into quadrants.

Google regularly briefs its partners about upcoming changes to its smart TV platforms and apps before they are officially announced to the public.

It’s unclear when this rollout will occur, or if it will immediately be available to all users across various television and hardware platforms. That said, assuming it’s coming at some point universally, it’s a massive win for subscribers. Fans of college football might be most likely to benefit; maybe no other sport sees so many games played simultaneously across multiple available networks. Fans could set up four channels and have games going across all of them for about twelve hours every Saturday, if they wanted to. (And many would!)

There are obvious other utilities here too, but live sports feels like the biggest winner with this feature. As bigger and better televisions are available for less and less money, it’s easier than ever for something like this to really be a standard viewing option. It’s certainly something I’d use, and I’m far from a heavy user compared to diehard fans (and/or gamblers.) It still might not make up for losing so many local sports options, but for the first time in a while this is an addition to YouTube TV that brings value to subscribers mainly focused on sports.

Hopefully this is a near-term change. We’re already in Week 0, after all.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.