YouTube TV Signs Big Deal With Major League Baseball
The MLB Network is now available on the YouTube TV streaming television service.
The offering is part of an expanded partnership between Major League Baseball and the Google-owned (GOOG) subscription streaming service, the two groups said Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last year, MLB and YouTube TV signed a marketing partnership in which the MLB promoted YouTube TV during the 2017 World Series, which YouTube TV subscribers could watch via the Fox broadcasting network.
The renewed deal now brings the MLB’s live television channel to YouTube TV and adds to an expanding roster of channels that already includes ABC, Fox, and ESPN. YouTube TV said in February when it raised the monthly price of its service to $40 that MLB and NBA TV would eventually be added. MLB is included as part of the $40 package.
Eventually, YouTube TV plans to add MLB.tv, the league’s online subscription service that streams all games that are typically available from regional broadcasting networks or the MLB Network. But subscribers will have to pay an additional undetermined fee for the service.
“YouTube brought tremendous creativity, marketing energy and innovation to the most exciting part of our year, the Postseason and World Series,” MLB executive vice president of commerce Noah Garden said in a statement. “Their engagement with our young fans, rising stars and Clubs showed that YouTube TV is a natural partner for our sport and we’re proud to build on this groundbreaking relationship.”
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As part of the expanded deal, MLB will continue to promote YouTube TV during the upcoming 2018 and 2019 World Series, while the streaming television service will use professional baseball players in its own advertising, among other promotional endeavors.
The addition of the MLB Network to YouTube TV comes amid intense competition in streaming television by companies like Sony, Hulu, and DirecTV. More people are signing up to these services as a way to go around traditional cable providers like Comcast.
The MLB Network is also available on both DirecTV’s live video service and the Sony PlayStation Vue service.
One of the biggest reasons customers sign up to online TV services is because of live sports, PlayStation Vue’s chief Dwayne Benefield told Fortune in February.