MLB partners with YouTube to exclusively live stream 13 games during the 2019 season
For the first time ever, live Major League Baseball (MLB) games are coming to YouTube. On Tuesday morning (30 April 2019), MLB unveiled that it has struck a partnership with the video sharing website that will see 13 games of the 2019 regular season distributed exclusively on the platform.
The 13-game package — which will be delivered to MLB’s official YouTube channel, as well as on a channel on YouTube’s live streaming television subscription service YouTube TV — will be available globally (with a few exceptions) and also guarantees exclusive distribution rights of those games in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The exact games to be included in the deal are to be announced, but the announcement did disclose that those games would all be in the second half of the season.
“It’s incredible to team up with Major League Baseball for this first-of-its-kind deal together to provide both diehard baseball fans and our YouTube community with live games exclusively on YouTube and YouTube TV,” Timothy Katz, head of sports and news partnerships, YouTube said in an official release Tuesday morning. “With Major League Baseball’s expanding international fanbase, we are confident YouTube’s global audience will bring fans around the world together in one place to watch the games and teams they love.”
“YouTube is an enormously popular video platform with impressive global reach and has served as a great environment for baseball fans to consume the game they love,” Chris Tully, EVP, global media, MLB added in the release. “We are excited to expand our partnership with YouTube to provide fans with an exclusive, customised live game viewing experience.
“With the media consumption habits of our fans continuing to evolve, MLB is committed both to expanding our roster of national broadcast platforms and to presenting live games in new ways to our fans.”
As for the game productions themselves, not many details have been made available just yet, but it was disclosed that the streams will feature their own pregame and postgame shows with MLB and YouTube talent and content.
While this may be a first for MLB and YouTube, the two have been long-standing partners. MLB launched its first YouTube channel back in 2005 and YouTube TV has been the first-ever presenting sponsor of the World Series since 2017. MLB Network is also available on YouTube TV’s channel lineup.