Amazon Channels Adds Major League Baseball Streaming Service

Just in time for the start of the 2019 Major League Baseball season, Amazon March 20 announced it has added the league’s MLB.tv subscription streaming video service to its Channels platform.

Amazon Channels affords Prime members direct access to third-party over-the-top video services, including Starz, Showtime OTT, Dove Channel and HBO Now.

Prime members in the U.S. can subscribe to MLB.TV for $24.99/month, or a one-time payment of $118.99 for a season pass, after a 7-day free trial.

MLB.tv, which launched 10 years ago, was one of the first professional sports standalone SVOD services offering out-of-market live-game streaming access to any of its 30 franchise teams.

The platform is supported by BAMTech, the backend technology company Disney acquired from Major League Baseball Advanced Media for nearly $3 billion. BAMTech is supply IT support for Disney’s pending Disney+ SVOD service.

“Prime members love the convenience of streaming live sports on-the-go—and now with MLB.tv, they won’t have to miss watching their favorite teams play,” Marie Donoghue, VP, global sports video, said in a statement. “We know Prime members can’t get enough of sports, and we’re dedicated to providing more access to the Major League Baseball games they want.”

Prime members streaming MLB.tv on Fire TV devices (Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Edition) will have access to Prime Video’s exclusive X-Ray feature, which allows users to access live in-game stats, team and player details and play-by-play information while they watch.

To access the X-Ray feature, simply click up on the Fire TV remote control while the game is playing.

 

YouTube TV Ups MLB Deal to Include World Series Sponsorship

Google-owned YouTube TV will be presenting sponsor of the Major League Baseball’s World Series in 2018/19 as part of new partnership agreement. The Fall Classic is exclusively broadcast on Fox Sports.

YouTube TV, which launched last April offering myriad pay-TV channels for $35 monthly, is available in 49 markets nationwide. It offers live local feeds from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in most markets, plus cable network ESPN and local sports networks from NBC Sports in 13 markets, FoX Sports in 22 markets and NESN in Boston.

“We built a cable-free service that makes it easier than ever for fans to get access to their favorite live TV programming — including live sporting events like the World Series,” Kelly Merryman, managing director of content partnerships at YouTube, said in a statement. “When we were thinking about partnerships to showcase the power of YouTube TV, Major League Baseball and the World Series was the perfect fit. It’s a great next step in our long-term relationship with the league.”

MLB is no stranger to expanding distribution of America’s favorite pastime. Through MLB Advanced Media, the league operates MLB.tv – touted as the No. 1 sports SVOD service, and MLB.com At Bat app.

MLB Advanced Media last year sold 42% ownership of backend tech subsidiary BAMTech LLC to The Walt Disney Co. for $1.58 billion. Disney had previously acquired 33% ownership stake for $1 billion.Major League Baseball retains the remaining 15% minority stake.

Disney is using BAMTech to power proprietary standalone over-the-top video platforms, including pending ESPN Plus.