YouTube's Newest Deal Brings Free MLB Games For Everyone

YouTube has penned a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) to offer free livestreams of 13 games during the second half of the 2019 baseball season. The exclusive deal will cover streaming in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, marking YouTube's first live game distribution partnership with the league. The livestreams will feature regular season games.

Under the new deal, YouTube will offer the livestreamed games for free on the MLB YouTube channel, as well as through a channel on YouTube TV that will be dedicated to the content. That channel, however, will only be accessible to YouTube TV subscribers — the service costs $50/month at this time.

Because the deal is an exclusive across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, these 13 regular season games won't be available through other sources, including the MLB.tv streaming service or typical television networks through which other games will be accessible.

According to Variety, these games won't be distributed on YouTube in 23 international regions due to existing rights deals, but otherwise the games will be available through YouTube in other markets. The livestreamed content will include both pre- and post-game shows, content related to both YouTube and MLB, and broadcasts that include popular YouTube Creators.

The news follows a similar deal between the league and Facebook, which will stream half a dozen non-exclusive games through its Watch platform. Though notable, that's quite a reduction compared to the social network's previous 25 MLB exclusive games streaming deal.