YouTube Locks Down Exclusive Streaming Rights to Some Major League Baseball Live Games

It will stream 13 games during the second half of this season

The programming will be available to users in most markets around the world for free, the companies said.
Youtube, MLB

Live Major League Baseball games are coming to YouTube.

YouTube has partnered with MLB to bring 13 games from the second half of this year’s regular season to YouTube and YouTube TV, the companies announced today.

The games are slated to stream on MLB’s YouTube channel and on a soon-to-launch YouTube TV channel dedicated to the games. Pregame and postgame programming, produced by MLB and featuring some YouTube personalities, will bookend the live-streamed games.

The programming will be available to users in most markets around the world for free, the companies said. YouTube has secured exclusive streaming rights in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Terms were not disclosed.

“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, YouTube’s head of sports and news partnerships, said in a statement. “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.”

The deal marks the latest attempts from digital giants to capitalize on live sporting events, which promises big audiences. Twitter, which has a longstanding relationship with the National Basketball Association, struck a deal with the NBA earlier this year to bring the second half of 20 basketball games (following a single player around the court) to the platform and partnered with Fox Sports to create live programming centered around FIFA Women’s World Cup games this summer. Amazon, too, has struck arrangements with the National Football League to bring Thursday Night Football games to Amazon Prime subscribers.

For YouTube, today’s deal with the MLB follows a baseball-heavy programming push, which has included YouTube TV “presenting” the World Series since 2017. MLB, which has had a longstanding presence on YouTube, has been live-streaming games on the platform since 2002.

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