YouTube Brings Back MLB for 15 Games in 2022
MLB is looking to get its product in front of as many young eyes as possible, which is why it will be back on YouTube for 15 games this season.
Today, YouTube announced the move, saying that the “MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube” would be renewed for 15 games throughout the 2022 season. Games can be streamed for free from 182 countries with the first game in the series airing on May 5, when the Washington Nationals take on the Colorado Rockies. YouTube also provided the first half of their planned slate, which includes the Chicago Cubs, the Cleveland Guardians (née Indians,) and the Toronto Blue Jays.
- Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies — Thursday, May 5 @ 3:10 p.m. ET
- Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds — Wednesday, May 11 @ 12:35 p.m. ET
- Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs — Friday, May 20 @ 2:20 p.m. ET
- Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins — Wednesday, May 25 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
- Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Guardians — Wednesday, June 1 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
- Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals — Wednesday, June 8 @ 2:10 p.m. ET
- Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners — Wednesday, June 15 @ 4:10 p.m. ET
“YouTube is committed to building on our unique in-game features to engage MLB fans of all ages across the globe as only YouTube can,” said Erin Teague, director and global head of sports, movies and shows product management for YouTube. “We’re excited to bring MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube back this season and continue delivering a best-in-class experience to viewers who have come to expect our fan-first presentation.”
MLB has done its darnedest to get its product in front of as many eyes, preferably young eyes, as possible. The league’s renewal of its deal with ESPN includes games focused on weekends with an alternate broadcast, affectionately dubbed “Kay-Rod” (a mashup of names of its main stars Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez,) due to the overwhelming success of the “ManningCast” which aired alongside ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast. MLB also struck a deal with Apple to air games on Apple TV+, a first for the popular phone manufacturer, and Peacock will stream 18 Sunday morning games this season as well.
A deal with YouTube can be helpful in attracting a crop of viewers that aren’t normally tuning into baseball games, especially as prior YouTube broadcasts have successfully captured younger eyes. According to Sports Business Journal, MLB games that air on YouTube over the past four seasons have generated 5.4 billion views and 425 million hours watched, and 50% of the audience watching those broadcasts has been younger than 35 years old.