YouTube has entered into a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) that will bring the 2017 World Series to YouTube TV. Under the multi-faceted partnership, YouTube TV will serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2017 World Series with a variety of national TV spots and on-air call-outs on FOX during each game, branding across MLB’s digital properties and official social media accounts, as well as in-stadium promotion. YouTube TV is also expected to incorporate MLB players competing in the Postseason in its promotional efforts.
“We built a cable-free service that makes it easier than ever for fans to get access to their favorite live TV programming – including amazing live sporting events like the World Series on FOX.” said Kelly Merryman, Managing Director, Content Partnerships Americas, YouTube. “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.”
Under the pact, the two parties will generate original, World Series-themed content featuring special access at the participating ballparks, engagement with MLB players and YouTube personalities. Additionally, the two companies will give a few lucky fans the chance to experience the World Series in-person.
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The YouTube TV partnership builds upon the league’s 10+ year strategy to reach fans wherever they are. This year alone, for example, MLB’s engagement and content strategy on YouTube has generated over 1 billion views.
“We are proud to team with You Tube on its first major partnership to help raise national awareness for YouTube TV,” said Noah Garden, MLB Executive Vice President, Business. “YouTube TV is an exciting new offering for fans providing them with increased flexibility to enjoy FOX’s broadcast of the Fall Classic on any device.”
YouTube’s agreement with the MLB comes shortly after The National Football League and Facebook inked a deal to bring NFL game recaps and highlights to its Watch Platform — a deal that nearly replicates YouTube’s 2015 agreement with the sports franchise. It seems that YouTube lost hold of its grip on NFL content and, in an effort to even out its loss, quickly tapped the MLB. Either way, it’s not the NFL or MLB that will put interest in YouTube TV, rather it’s YouTube TV that will help drive interest back into sports programming, which has taken its share of losses due to an increase of cord cutting.