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MLB gives access to YouTubers in ‘multi-faceted’ deal

YouTube_TVYouTube and Major League Baseball (MLB) have agreed a “multi-faceted” sponsorship deal that will give YouTube content creators behind-the-scenes access to the 2017 World Series.

The agreement establishes YouTube TV as the presenting sponsor of the championship series, and will see it promote its new over-the-top TV offering as an alternative to cable for accessing live baseball.

YouTube TV will run a variety of national TV ads and on-air callouts during the series, have in-stadium promotion and will see its branding featured across MLB’s digital properties and official social media accounts.

In turn MLB will use the deal to help “bridge digital audiences to the World Series”. YouTube creators will be granted access to MLB players and personalities and will generate original, World Series-themed content at participating ballparks.

The live TV rights for MLB in the US is held by Fox, which is available through traditional pay TV operators and as part of YouTube TV’s channel line-up.

“We built a cable-free service that makes it easier than ever for fans to get access to their favourite 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.”

Noah Garden, MLB executive vice-president, business, said: “We are proud to team with You Tube on its first major partnership to help raise national awareness for YouTube TV.”

YouTube launched YouTube TV in the US’s biggest metro areas in April of this year, giving users access to some 40 TV channels, including the four largest US broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.

Since then the channel line-up has expanded and the service is now live in 49 markets, representing two-thirds of the country.