A much-anticipated multi-view feature that is being developed for Google’s pay television service YouTube TV will work with NFL Sunday Ticket when it debuts next year, a company executive confirmed in an interview this week.
The feature, which YouTube is calling “Mosaic Mode,” will allow streamers to watch multiple live channels at once, similar to what’s offered on satellite service DirecTV and Fubo TV subscribers with Apple TV devices.
Mosaic Mode was first revealed in a story published several months ago by the tech publication Protocol. Since then, YouTube executives have mostly confirmed that the feature is coming, but have offered no timetable on when it will roll out to YouTube TV subscribers.
But in a recent interview, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan confirmed the streaming service wants to offer Mosaic Mode as part of NFL Sunday Ticket, which offers live access to out-of-market, regular-season football games broadcast on CBS and Fox affiliates across the country.
“Multi-screen is something that we have been working on for YouTube TV, so you should expect that as part of the experience.” Mohan told The Verge. YouTube’s rights to NFL Sunday Ticket will begin in tandem with the next football season, which is scheduled to begin in early September 2023, so streamers could presumably see Mosaic Mode roll out anytime within the next nine months.
Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, was officially named the rights holder to NFL Sunday Ticket last week, ending DirecTV’s two-decade exclusive run of the package. It will be the first time NFL Sunday Ticket is offered primarily through a streaming video service in the United States.
Google is reportedly spending around $2.5 billion per year to offer NFL Sunday Ticket to streamers. The out-of-market package will be offered as an add-on to YouTube TV, which starts at $65 a month for a core package of channels that includes local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS stations, among others.
Mohan said this week that NFL Sunday Ticket will also be offered through YouTube PrimeTime Channels, the streaming marketplace launched several weeks ago through the flagship YouTube app. Streamers who want access to NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube won’t have to pay for YouTube Premium, but they will have to pay a fee for NFL Sunday Ticket.
Google has not revealed how much NFL Sunday Ticket will cost through YouTube or YouTube TV. DirecTV previously had the price of the package around $200 to $400 per year, though some new customers of DirecTV were able to get the package for free. It is not known if Google will offer NFL Sunday Ticket at a discounted price to YouTube TV subscribers compared to those who simply buy the package through the YouTube app, or if similar promotional pricing will apply for new YouTube TV customers.
Mohan confirmed this week that Google will not continue the tradition of offering a separate RedZone channel for Sunday Ticket customers, the way DirecTV did. On DirecTV, Sunday Ticket RedZone was hosted by Andrew Siciliano, while NFL RedZone — a separate channel operated by NFL Network and available to customers of other pay TV platforms, including YouTube TV — was hosted by Scott Hanson.
When NFL Sunday Ticket appears on YouTube and YouTube TV, NFL RedZone — the Hanson version — will be offered to streamers going forward, Mohan said. It was not clear if Siciliano would also appear on the channel.