YouTube today announced a new partnership with the MLB which will allow the site to exclusively live-stream 13 MLB games to both YouTube and YouTube TV during the second half of the regular baseball season. While YouTube TV had previously partnered with MLB — it’s currently serving as the presenting partner for the World Series, for example — this is YouTube’s first-ever exclusive live-game partnership with the league.
The company says the schedule of the games and dates will be announced in a few weeks, but will include 13 games that will be exclusively available to viewers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for free on the MLB YouTube channel and on a dedicated channel that will come to YouTube TV.
This channel, which is still unnamed, will be a temporary pop-up specific to MLB that appears when the live content is coming through the feed.
The streamed games will also include a pre-game and post-game show, and will contain MLB and YouTube-themed content from popular YouTube creators, who have yet to be announced. The games will be produced and enhanced for the YouTube platform by the MLB Network’s production team.
Deal 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,” said Timothy Katz, YouTube’s head of Sports and News Partnerships, 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.”
In addition to YouTube TV’s presenting sponsorship of the World Series (2017-2019), the two organizations have a history of working together. MLB has been live-streaming games since 2002 on MLB.tv, and started its YouTube channel back in 2005. Today, MLB content and that from its 30 clubs are available on YouTube, including all old games since 2009. The YouTube audience generated 1.25 billion YouTube channel views in 2018 — up 25 percent over the year prior — the organization said.