March 9, 2018
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.