YouTube Scores Exclusive Rights to Stream 13 MLB Games across US and Canada
The online streaming giant, YouTube, and Major League Baseball (MLB) have made an agreement, where the streaming app holds the exclusive streaming rights of 13 of this season’s games in the U.S. and Canada. This means that no TV network or alternative streaming service has the rights to show these games, not even the MLB.tv streaming service. The game schedule and announcement will be made in the upcoming weeks.
How Scoring Exclusive Rights Came About
This is a rather big venture for YouTube, a long-time partner of MLB, as the company aims to increase consumer awareness beyond the funny video shorts and clips the company is known for and it’s YouTube’s first exclusive live distribution agreement with MLB. The 13 games will be available for free and take place in the second half of the season. The games will be streamed on MLB’s official YouTube channel as well as a YouTube TV channel dedicated to the MLB partnership (available in North America). On an international scale, the games will be made available on YouTube, excluding 23 regions due to existing rights deals.
The game airings will include both pre- and post-game shows along with MLB- and YouTube-themed content. The previous partnership between YouTube and MLB (and its 30 teams), offered highlights and the opportunity to watch classic games. YouTube TV has been the presenting sponsor of the World Series since 2017, and last year their channel lineup grew to include the MLB Network.
The 13 games will be distributed exclusively across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico (live and free) on the channel. Due to the exclusive rights to these games being owned by YouTube, they will not be found on any TV network or the even MLB.tv streaming service.
A New Direction
This deal between the online video giant and MLB is similar to their agreement with Facebook last year, when it exclusively held the rights to stream 25 MLB games. However, this year, Facebook has taken a step back when it comes to their baseball rotation as they only acquired non-exclusive rights to six of the league’s games for Facebook Watch. YouTube was not exactly slacking last year as they too had an exclusive deal with Major League Soccer, in which they were the home of several games between teams such as the Los Angeles Football Club and the Seattle Sounders. The financial terms of this deal are not being made public.
It is important to note that this news is not a huge deal when it comes to the world of TV sports, but it does show that Google and YouTube might be set to become bidders that are more aggressive as league rights continue to roll by.
With the live TV streaming space already overflowing with competition, and new players like Apple and Disney about to create even more options for how viewers can choose to spend their monthly budgets, exclusive deals like this one may just become an important form of viewing sports, in turn making streaming services like YouTube TV harder to part with.
The YouTube and Major League Baseball deal will see the video streaming service and Google’s YouTube TV take home the rights to distribute 13 games exclusively to the U.S. and Canada shortly. These two video services will be the only ways to view these games within countries that do not have existing deals in place and the games will not be found on the typical TV networks, or via the MLB.tv subscription service. The exclusivity is key to the agreement. If you want to know more and experience a great online casino, take a look at the following site.