YouTube TV enhances baseball content with expanded MLB deal

Major League Baseball has extended and expanded its wide-ranging partnership with YouTube TV, the cable-free live television service of video-sharing company YouTube.

The initial deal signed in October represented YouTube’s first major advertising deal for YouTube TV and saw MLB sign its first-ever presenting sponsor of the World Series.

As part of the renewed partnership, YouTube TV will serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2018 and 2019 World Series. For the first time, YouTube TV will also partner with MLB on a brand new season-long sponsorship – ‘First Pitch’ – that will promote the YouTube TV brand during the first pitches of games on MLB Network and MLB.tv, and will be amplified on MLB.com and MLB social channels.

The new agreement also adds fresh media elements with expanded baseball coverage offered to all YouTube TV members with the addition of league-owned television channel MLB Network to its lineup. In the future, YouTube TV members will also be able to add MLB.tv, the longest running sports streaming service in the US, for an additional fee.

“YouTube brought tremendous creativity, marketing energy and innovation to the most exciting part of our year, the postseason and World Series,” Noah Garden, MLB executive vice-president of commerce, said. 

“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. And with the addition of MLB Network and the upcoming launch of MLB.tv on the platform, our fans' options to consume baseball continue to grow.”

YouTube TV has been steadily increasing its sports output in recent months. Seattle Sounders last month became the latest Major League Soccer franchise to strike a rights deal with the service.

The multi-year deal sees YouTube TV serve as the official live television streaming home of the Sounders. YouTube TV is set to stream all Sounders matches in 2018, including exclusive streaming rights to the club’s 21 regionally televised contests on a dedicated YouTube TV channel. YouTube TV members will also be able to watch Seattle’s 13 nationally televised contests on ESPN, Fox and Fox Sports 1.

MLS expansion franchise Los Angeles Football Club in January signed a landmark media rights and jersey sponsorship deal with YouTube TV.

Under the multi-year partnership, which commenced when LAFC made its MLS debut against the Sounders on March 4, YouTube TV will serve as the official live television partner and official video partner of the team, becoming the exclusive home to watch all locally televised English-language LAFC matches. YouTube TV will also carry all nationally televised LAFC matches on ESPN, Fox and FS1.