Google’s YouTube reached a deal with Major League Baseball for exclusive rights to stream games in the second half of the season, continuing the expansion of live sports to the internet.
The 13 games will be distributed on YouTube globally, and exclusively in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, the parties said Tuesday. The actual match-ups, which haven’t been chosen yet, will stream live on MLB’s official YouTube channel and via a new channel on YouTube TV. Coverage will feature pre- and post-game shows, and include YouTube creators. Financial terms weren’t given.
“With Major League Baseball’s expanding international fan base, 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,” Timothy Katz, the video sites’ head of sports and news partnerships, said in a statement.
The tie-up is similar to what MLB did last season with Facebook, which marked the first time a major U.S. league agreed to show regular-season games exclusively on the social network. Tech companies are competing more for live sports rights, and that’s boosting the value of deals for the leagues. Amazon, for instance, shows Thursday Night Football. Many in the industry expect tech and social-media companies to bid for marquee rights moving forward.