YouTube is bringing Sunday Ticket subscribers six new updates ahead of the NFL season, including student plans, monthly payment plans, live chat/polls, real-time NFL highlights in YouTube Shorts, multiview and the “Key Plays” feature, which tracks the most important plays in the game.
The student discount is the most notable since fans — particularly DirecTV users — highly requested it since the service offered one when it had the rights to Sunday Ticket. YouTube didn’t share how much money students will save but told them to keep an eye out for updates.
Another “big piece of feedback” that YouTube is bringing to light is a flexible billing option, the company announced in a blog on Wednesday. YouTube said it’s rolling out monthly payment plans for viewers in most states except Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Tennessee. (Subscribers in these seven states only have a single payment option.) The monthly payment plan allows users to pay for Sunday Ticket over time instead of all at once. The option is rolling out over the next week on both YouTube and YouTube TV.
As for watching the games, YouTube is launching updates and new features to enhance the viewing experience. For instance, YouTube users can use live chat and polls to react in real-time with other fans through their mobile and TV devices. Also, mobile users can watch highlights through NFL Shorts on YouTube and then jump to a live game by clicking on the red “Live” ring around the NFL channel avatar. Soon, the platform will launch NFL Shop integrations.
Previously only available on YouTube TV, the Key Plays feature will finally be available on the main YouTube experience. However, it will only be available on TVs this season. The Emmy-award-winning feature lets Sunday Ticket subscribers catch up on a game by watching a quick video of each major play before jumping into the live game.
YouTube also reminded users of its recently launched multiview feature, allowing viewers to choose from 4-game, 3-game and 2-game viewing combinations. Subscribers also have access to an extensive assortment of games. For instance, they can watch a Sunday game and a local NFL game side-by-side or even NFL and college football games simultaneously. Users that sign up for the NFL Sunday Ticket + NFL RedZone package get to watch both out-of-market games and RedZone with multiview.
As the platform gears up for its first year as the streaming home of NFL Sunday Ticket, there’s a lot of pressure to give fans a seamless experience. YouTube has been busy partnering with other companies to help garner a large audience, handing out one free season to Verizon customers and giving four months of Max for free to subscribers who paid for NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube TV.