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YouTube and MLB expand partnership

YouTube and Major League Baseball (MLB) have expanded their partnership with MLB Network joining the YouTube TV channel line-up in the US for the first time.

As part of the agreement, YouTube TV subscribers will also soon be able to add streaming service MLB.tv for an additional fee.

YouTube TV’s expanded baseball coverage comes as the company agreed new a sponsorship package, with YouTube signing up as the presenting sponsor of the 2018 and 2019 World Series.

YouTube TV branding will be visible during the first pitches of games on MLB Network and MLB.tv in a season-long sponsorship arrangement.

The service will also continue to incorporate MLB players in promotions, including a variety of national TV spots and on-air call-outs during the games. YouTube TV branding will appear across MLB’s digital properties and official social media accounts, as well as in stadiums.

“Our historic partnership with MLB was a first of its kind. From live programming morphing into a YouTube TV spot, to prominent in-stadium placements, our innovative partnership allowed us to build awareness for YouTube TV and have a voice during one of the biggest live sporting events of the year,” said Angela Courtin, global head of YouTube TV and originals marketing.

“MLB has been a great long-term partner and we are excited to renew our World Series partnership as well as play a role in games throughout the season with the inaugural first pitch sponsorship, bringing more ways for fans to enjoy their favourite teams cable-free with YouTube TV.”

MLB’s executive vice president of commerce, Noah Garden, said: “YouTube brought tremendous creativity, marketing energy and innovation to the most exciting part of our year, the post-season and World Series.

“Their engagement with our young fans, rising stars and clubs showed that YouTube TV is a natural partner for our sport and we’re proud to build on this ground-breaking relationship. With the addition of MLB Network and the upcoming launch of MLB.tv on the platform, our fans’ options to consume baseball continue to grow.”

YouTube and MLB agreed their initial sponsorship deal last October. This established YouTube TV as the presenting sponsor of the championship series, saw it promote its over-the-top TV offering as an alternative to cable for accessing live baseball, and also gave YouTube content creators behind-the-scenes access to the 2017 World Series in a move designed to “bridge digital audiences to the World Series”.