By Hilary Russ
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major League Baseball and YouTube on Wednesday released details of the first three matchups under their agreement to stream a package of 13 live games every week on the video-sharing website.
Their deal, announced in April, was the first agreement for YouTube, a unit of Alphabet Inc’s Google, to exclusively stream MLB games in major markets. MLB also has other deals to stream some live games on both Facebook and Twitter.
The YouTube pact is one of several showing how digital platforms, streaming services and social media networks have been stepping into live sports – traditionally the territory of broadcasters.
YouTube has global distribution rights that are exclusive in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico via MLB’s YouTube channel, free to view. Subscribers to YouTube TV will also be able to watch the games on a forthcoming channel.
In the first game on July 18, six-time World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers will play the Philadelphia Phillies.
Week two on July 23 features the Cleveland Indians versus the Toronto Blue Jays, with the third game on July 29 between the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels, MLB said in a statement. All games will include pregame and postgame shows.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)