It’s Official! Multiview for Live Sports comes to Apple TV

Apple TV MLS multiview Credit: Apple
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It wasn’t long after the first beta of iOS 16.5 came along that intrepid code sleuths found the first hints of a new multiview feature for Live Sports. While it wasn’t entirely clear what Apple’s plans were for this, it wasn’t hard to connect the dots, and Apple tipped its hand in mid-April when it began testing the feature for those already on the beta.

However, despite the fact that ESPN has offered this for a long time and other rival streaming services have been toying with the idea, the presence of code and early tests didn’t guarantee that Apple would turn the key on it right away. After all, the company has tested many things during iOS betas over the years that turned out to be delayed, from Messages in the Cloud and AirPlay 2 that were widely tested in the iOS 11.3 betas but pulled before their final release to the new HomeKit architecture that showed up iOS 16.2 betas but didn’t officially arrive until iOS 16.4.

However, the good news is that multiview isn’t going to be one of those features that Apple teases us with but omits before the final release. With the debut of iOS 16.5 and tvOS 16.5 today, Apple has gone so far as to officially announce that multiview has arrived for its sports fans.

Multiview on Apple TV

As Apple notes, the feature is available on the Apple TV 4K, and since it doesn’t mention any specific requirements, that hopefully includes all generations of that device released from 2017 to 2022. That’s in contrast to its karaoke-like Apple Music Sing feature that came out last fall exclusively for the latest third-generation Apple TV 4K.

Not surprisingly, multiview is limited only to sports services available directly in Apple’s TV app. That’s Major League Soccer matches and MLB Friday Night Baseball games for now. While the MLB games are available to anyone with an Apple TV+ subscription, Major League Soccer requires a separate MLS Season Pass for $14.99/month or $99/season — although Apple is currently offering a free one-month trial, which provides an excellent opportunity to check out the new feature.

As the name suggests, the new multiview feature will allow you to watch up to four streams simultaneously, which can be any combination of MLS matches, MLB Friday Night Baseball games, and select MLS and MLB live shows.

Once you engage multiview, you’ll be able to see a list of available live games at the bottom of your screen and choose which ones you want to watch. You’re also not limited to a basic four-quadrant layout — you can display one match more prominently with the other three along the side and quickly toggle back a full-screen view with a single click.

You’ll also be able to choose your preferred audio in multiview, including which game you want to listen to, and select the home radio feed for MLS Season Pass and home and away radio for Friday Night Baseball. The MLS 360 and MLB Big Inning studio shows are also available to watch so you can tune in on in-depth coverage and commentary while keeping your favorite games or matches in view.

While there were some hints in the iOS 16.5 beta that this feature could eventually make its way to the iPhone and iPad, that doesn’t appear to have happened yet, and Apple hasn’t offered any clues as to if it ever will. For now, multiview is available exclusively on the Apple TV 4K, and of course, it requires tvOS 16.5 or later.

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