YouTube has announced a schedule of 15 MLB games, called “MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube” for the 2022 season. The games will be exclusive to YouTube and YouTube TV and will cause more blackouts for MLB fans.
The first half of the schedule was released by the streaming giant, and we have listed it below:
- 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 has already published thumbnails for each game it has announced, and fans can set reminders to be notified when a game they’re interested in is about to begin. YouTube’s MLB lineup will be fully compatible with its mobile app so iOS and Android users can join in on the fun.
Interestingly, the Kansas City Royals will be the only team to appear twice in the first half of YouTube’s early season schedule.
The announcement of the games is consistent with a trend towards a greater emphasis on streaming by MLB in recent years. Just this year, Apple TV+ and NBC Universal’s streaming service, Peacock, announced exclusive “streaming only” MLB games that will appear on Friday Nights and Sunday Mornings respectively. As exclusive games, the only way to watch is on either Apple TV+ or Peacock, which causes blackouts and confusion for fans.
The “MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube” format is identical to Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+ and Sunday Morning Baseball on Peacock, because the broadcast is exclusive, which means that the regional sports networks that normally carry games will not have coverage. For example, the Royals appear twice on YouTube in the span of one week, which means fans can’t watch the games on Bally Sports Kansas City. However, the sting of the blackouts is less since YouTube is offering the games for free and most people have YouTube anyway. Nevertheless, all of these streaming exclusives make things more complicated for fans.