By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, explain this for me. There is a two stream maximum for the NFL Sunday Ticket so does that mean I could watch in my house and a friend who pays for half of the Ticket price can watch in his house in another town? Would that be okay? — Victor, Reno, Nevada.
Victor, you’re right. Google has said that Sunday Ticket subscribers to either YouTube Primetime Channels or YouTube TV will only have access to two streams at the same time. That means you could watch one game at your house and, yes, a friend (paying or not) could watch a game in his house. This would be helpful for fans who want to share the costs of the Ticket sub which starts at $249 until June 6. The base price jumps $100 after June 6. (See this article for pricing details.)
There will be no IP address restrictions in watching a game, but Google does have one stipulation that could cause a problem with fans with Ticket subscription partners in another town.
Google says you can share your Ticket subscription with members of your ‘family group.’ While that may sound like you are restricted to providing your password to your spouse and/or the kids, you can name anyone as a family group member, including your old pal Joe hundreds of miles away.
But Google also says that each family member “must primarily live in the same household.” That doesn’t mean that company representatives will make random visits to your house to check on you. But Google says at its web site that family group members need to “periodically use YouTube TV in your home location to keep access.” (This apparently also applies to YouTube Primetime Channels subscribers to the Ticket.)
“Otherwise, the family manager will have to change the home location. If the family manager can’t change the home location, family group members will need to get an individual membership,” the site states.
In other words, if Joe, who lives hundreds of miles away, doesn’t come to your house occasionally to watch a Ticket stream, Google could decide he’s not a member of your household and block access to your subscription. This wouldn’t be a problem for a partner who lives in the same town; you could just ask him or her to come to the house every month or so and watch a stream so it would look like he lives there. But that’s not exactly convenient for Joe, is it?
It’s unclear if Google will enforce this stipulation with the Ticket, or if it does, how often. It’s possible that you could go through the entire season before Google would determine one of your ‘family members’ lives in another town. But at this point, it’s unknown and you probably need to consider the possibility when deciding whether to go in as partners on a Sunday Ticket subscription.
Victor, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann