When the Spanish Flu rampaged through the country in 1918, many of today’s beloved teams competed as usual. The danger facing the athletes and those in the stands was downplayed, and a number of players suffered debilitating illness and untimely death as a result.
In an effort to avoid honoring that particular era of MLB history, the franchise has developed a clever way for a wider audience of fans to safely access an all-new game day experience. With MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube, you’ll be able to stream 21 live games this year, no in-person attendance required.
This is the baseball league’s third year of broadcasting highly anticipated games on a streaming platform, but things got a little shaky in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unveiling of YouTube TV‘s MLB.TV add-on, along with clearer pandemic safety guidelines, allow for a more streamlined and immersive viewing experience, so viewers have a lot to look forward to throughout the 2021 season.
How to Watch MLB Games on YouTube
As long as you have a device with internet access and YouTube capabilities, you can get in on the “baseball of the future” fun via MLB’s YouTube Channel. The stream opens up half an hour before the game is scheduled to begin, so join early if you want to catch any pregame coverage. If you are a YouTube TV subscriber, you can watch the game (with added features for subscribers) right on the MLB.TV channel.
- Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox — April 7th, 1 p.m. ET
- Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros — April 22nd, 8 p.m. ET
- Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians — April 28th, 1 p.m. ET
As the season progresses and the final schedule is set, more game dates and times will be announced. The MLB YouTube page has a convenient “Set Reminder” button for every scheduled game, so you don’t need to worry about missing out.
What to Expect When Streaming
MLB is taking advantage of YouTube’s interactive streaming amenities to promote fan engagement.
Users tuning in from their computer or smart device can vote on the “YouTube Player of the Game,” determining which player gets a trophy during the postgame block. Fans can participate in polls and provide live commentary using YouTube’s chat feature, with added insights from sport YouTubers.
If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, you can even check out real-time stats and replay footage from the game. This might not replace the excited late-inning hot dog line chatter with your fellow fans, but it’s leagues better than sitting quietly at home wishing your favorite team was in-market.
Other Ways to Watch
MLB Game of the Week on YouTube is likely the cheapest and easiest way to stream live games, but one game per week is a pittance for hardcore fans. If you want to round out your weekly interactive game experience with wider coverage, you have a few options to choose from:
Subscribe to cord-cutting services. Internet-based cable services like Fubo TV, Sling TV and Hulu Live are pretty reliable ways to catch network baseball games. These services tend to be pricey, but most offer a free trial if you’re not sure about paying upfront.
Use a VPN. Even official avenues offered by MLB have region-blocking enabled on local streams, making it difficult to watch your home team live. By turning on your VPN and connecting to a server well outside of your region, you can watch from home.
Buy an MLB.TV subscription. This option defeats the purpose of “non-official avenues for streaming,” but it does offer the widest variety of games and features. You can view multiple games at once, record DVR footage and even stream postseason games. If you run up against a region-blocking issue, see the previous option.
The season hasn’t started yet, so you still have a little time left to find the best streaming deals. Set up a Deal Alert and we’ll let you know when it’s time to get in the game.
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