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YouTube TV Teams Up With Major League Baseball for World Series Coverage

Google’s live television streaming service continues to make inroads into sports broadcasting

Last year’s World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians was an epic, seven-game matchup between two of the games most storied franchises. But with baseball having an average viewer age of 57, too many young fans, many of whom don’t watch traditional TV, didn’t get to see it. This year, YouTube TV is on deck to fix that.

Tuesday, YouTube and Major League Baseball announced a multi-faceted partnership for the 2017 World Series, which will make YouTube TV, Google’s live-TV subscription service, its presenting sponsor. YouTube TV will receive national ad spots and on-air callouts from the broadcast team on Fox, and will likely incorporate players in its promos.

And with YouTube TV’s $35 cable replacement service available in 49 markets covering two-thirds of U.S. households — and including all four major broadcast networks — the majority of cord-cutters in America can watch baseball across their devices without needing a cable subscription or a reliable place to receive an antenna signal.

“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.” Kelly Merryman, Managing Director, Content Partnerships Americas, 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.”

Major League Baseball was an early mover in the digital video space, putting clips on YouTube and developing a digital media arm that spun off streaming technology company BAMTech. Disney now owns 75 percent of BAMTech, which is valued at about $2 billion.

“We are proud to team with You Tube on its first major partnership to help raise national awareness for YouTube TV,” Noah Garden, MLB Executive Vice President, Business, said in the statement. “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.”

“This is an exciting time for Fox Sports, Major League Baseball and the industry as a whole,” Mark Evans, Senior Vice President, Fox Sports Sales, said in the statement. “YouTube TV provides a fresh, unique perspective that sparks new and creative ways for us and our partners to innovate.”