YouTube and Major League Baseball Advanced Media on Monday announced an expansion of their video distribution agreement. MLB’s increased offerings on its YouTube channel will include highlights of every game this season (on a two-day delay) and an archive of full games going back as far as 1952.
For fans living outside MLB’s core markets in U.S., Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, they will be able to watch two live games each day during the regular season for free. YouTube and MLB first teamed up in 2005, and in 2010 began offering full-game archives and highlight reels on a YouTube channel exclusively in Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and Russia.
Given the league’s well-known adherence to a paid content model, its move to open highlights (albeit two-days later) and its vast archive of footage to users widely signals something of a concession to ad-supported video.
For viewers that still want to see live streams of games in the U.S., they will still have to pay for its At Bat app or MLB.TV service.