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ESPN+ to Stream Two Games of the Savannah Bananas’ ‘Banana Ball’ World Tour

Jeff Kotuby

You read that headline correctly, obscure, independent minor league baseball fans — the Savannah Bananas’ Banana Ball is coming to ESPN+.

ESPN+ will exclusively live stream two games from the 2022 Banana Ball World Tour on April 8 and 9, featuring the social media-famous Savannah Bananas as they launch the sport of Banana Ball across the South. The games begin at 7 p.m. ET on both April 8 and 9 in Savannah, Ga., with pregame festivities kicking off at 6:15 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

ESPN put out a press release revealing the news but the Bananas also made a “formal” announcement on their Twitter account:

So what exactly is Banana Ball? It’s a different take on traditional baseball, with additional rules that make for more fan engagement and overall fun. The rules include:

  1. No Bunting.
  2. Walks must be sprints.
  3. No mound visits.
  4. Hitters can’t step out of the batter’s box.
  5. Hitters can steal first base.
  6. If a fan catches a foul ball, it counts as an out.
  7. Each inning is a winner take all.
  8. The game has a two-hour time limit.
  9. Instead of extra innings, there will be an overtime one-on-one showdown.

Streaming platforms have figured out that live sports are a key driver of subscribers and retention, so it makes sense that ESPN would look to the niche corners of the sports world to populate their platform. Even though ESPN calls itself the “home of hockey,” they don’t play hockey year-round and will need something to air on ESPN+ during the summer months. Niche sports often attract some level of social media buzz, as sports fans tune in looking for traditional sports and find something new, like drone racing, cornhole, esports, and now Banana Ball.

Enter the Savannah Bananas. Since arriving in Savannah in 2016, the Bananas have received worldwide attention and have sold out every night with over 4,000 fans in attendance and have a waitlist for tickets in the thousands. The team has become known for their Dancing Players, Dad Bod Cheerleading Squad, Banana Nanas Senior Citizen Dance Team, Breakdancing First Base Coach, Banana Pep Band, and other entertainment offerings.

You can watch the Bananas take on their rivals, the Party Animals, on April 8 and 9 on ESPN+.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a live TV streaming service that gives access to thousands of live sporting events, original shows like Peyton’s Place, the entire library of 30 for 30, E:60, The Last Dance, as well exclusive written analysis from top ESPN insiders.

The service can be subscribed for $6.99 / month per month or annually for $69.99 / year.

You will get a daily out-of-market game from MLB, and every out-of-market NHL and MLS game with NHL.TV and MLS LIVE.

The service has some of the most attractive soccer coverage including Bundesliga, LaLiga, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredevise and more.

College sports fans will be able to watch thousands of games and events including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf, and more.

For boxing and UFC fans, the service offers Top Rank boxing and will be the home of 15 exclusive UFC events.

ESPN+ now includes exclusive insights from analysts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (which used to be part of ESPN Insider), as well as premium Fantasy Tools & PickCenter.

What it does not include is most live sports that air on ESPN and ESPN2.

To get access to those channels you have to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. We suggest reading our guide on How to Watch ESPN without Cable.

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