ESPN is launching a new version of its Apple TV app that lets viewers watch up to four live streams simultaneously. The new MultiCast feature is designed for following multiple games at the same time so you don’t miss key plays or have to flip between streams to see a score.
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MultiCast supports five during viewing modes: 2-Up for side-by-side, PIP for picture-in-picture, 3-Up for one large and two small screens, 4-Up for one large and three small tiles, and Grid for four equal-sized tiles.
According to Variety, ESPN is considering using some of the grid for monitoring more than just live streams:
Down the road, too, ESPN is thinking of using the other tiles in the MultiCast for content aside from video. For example, those could be playing in-game highlights, fantasy sports updates, alerts, scoreboards or social-media posts.
And as Recode notes, the new feature is will shine this fall when college football kicks off:
First question: Other than demoing it to reporters or your friends, why would you want to watch four screens of ESPN simultaneously?
Answer: During Saturdays in the fall, when ESPN has paid a ton of money to show you college football and when it will air up to 55 games in a day, says Ryan Spoon, who runs digital for ESPN.
MultiCast also positions ESPN well ahead of the rumored 4K Apple TV possibly launching debuting this year: think one 4K UHD screen filled with four 1080p full HD live streams. ESPN is also launching a standalone streaming subscription early next year.
For now MultiCast is exclusively available on the Apple TV, ESPN says, because other smart TV platforms don’t have the some capabilities as tvOS. Other apps including ABC News and MLB At Bat already support up to four live streams as well.
watchESPN is available for free on the App Store. Check out how the new feature looks below: