We’ve seen loads of watch party features for streaming apps like Netflix and Disney Plus. However, while it’s nice to watch Stranger Things and Mulan with people you can’t be with physically, what we really miss is getting together with friends to watch live sports.
Enter US cable cutting service Sling TV and its new group watching extension for the Google Chrome browser. The Sling Watch Party allows subscribers to get together to watch a single stream, with webcam thumbnails to the right and a chat section on the left. The feature, which is available in beta right now, supports up to four people.
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It’s a nice alternative for those groups of friends who miss attending the games together and don’t want to risk visiting to their local sports bar during the coronavirus pandemic. We love this option considering what a pain it can be trying to watch games with friends right now.
Those watching the television feed are often ahead of the online stream by a minute or more. Lags in streams can sometimes mean the action is spoiled via the group chat before it appears on everyone’s screen.
Sadly, this is only for Sling TV subscribers right now (via The Verge), but we’d love to see the likes of Sky and BT Sport add this feature in the UK for watching Premier League games and other live sports. The need seems especially pressing given the new government restrictions have effectively ruled out a return to stadiums before next spring.
The Premier League have, at least, done a decent job of ensuring Brits can watch their team every week by agreeing that all fixtures can be televised for the foreseeable future. Between Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime, and even the BBC, all games are broadcast live.
The situation was due to be reviewed in the coming weeks, but with fans returning now off the table seemingly until the new year, we can see this arrangement lasting all season long.