More MLB Highlights Now On YouTube, But It’s Not All Skittles And Puppies

Major League Baseball Advanced Media and YouTube announced an expanded partnership on Monday that will result in thousands more hours of baseball highlights that will be available for free on the video site. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the content of the highlights and the timing of their availability on YouTube will continue to be strictly controlled by MLBAM. In other words, fans with dusty VHS collections will continue to receive take-down notices from MLBAM and YouTube if they upload their favorite games or highlights.

Still, the expanded MLB-YouTube agreement is a step in the right direction for baseball fans hungry for free content.

MLB has been a YouTube Sports Partner since 2005, but that title meant little to those searching for baseball highlights. In fact, it wasn’t until 2010 that MLBAM began offering full-game archives and highlights, and only then in Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and Russia. Baseball fans around the world — save for those in North America, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — will now have access to two live games each day and an expanded package of highlights.

For those in North America, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — what MLB calls its “core distribution territories” — live games will available only though MLB.tv. (Note, however, that I was able to watch the Twins-Tigers game live on Monday night on YouTube. I’m not sure if that’s because it was the first day of the new partnership, because I’m an MLB.tv subscriber or because of a programming error.)

But the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are getting something from the new arrangement, as MLBAM explained in a press release:

This MLB.com YouTube channel will include highlight clips from every MLB game in 2013 as well as thousands of hours from MLBAM’s archives. In-season highlights will be available approximately two days after the respective games have been completed. Videos from MLB.com’s Baseball’s Best Moments library also will be included.

So what does that mean? Let’s take a look:

MLB has its own YouTube channel, which appears to be nothing more than a way to curate the league’s video offerings. Like with other YouTube channels, if you subscribe, you’ll receive occasional e-mail updates on new videos. You can find the MLB channel at youtube.com/mlb or by clicking here. Once on the MLB channel page, you’ll find additional channels for MLB Classics and MLB highlights for the 2009-through-2012 seasons. You can subscribe to those channels, as well.

Highlights from recent games are at the top of the page, followed by classic plays, recent walk-offs, home runs, 2013 game recaps, MLB originals (like the Mets doing the Harlem Shake), 2012 postseason highlights and All-Star Game highlights through the years. For now, there’s also a “Boston Strong” section and one dedicated to Mariano Rivera; my sense is those special sections will change throughout the year.

For me, the most exciting new content are the classic highlights. Sure, you can find classic plays on MLB.com, but you have to know what you’re searching for. On the MLB-YouTube channel, there are (currently) 90 video clips dating back to Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. One of my favorite clips is Vladimir Guerrero’s first major-league home run, off Atlanta’s Mark Wohlers, on Sept. 21, 1996:

Let’s be real, though. Ninety classic clips barely scratches the surface, so let’s hope that number grows and does so quickly. There are some glaring omissions that need to be addressed: The only Barry Bonds clip, for example, is of Torii Hunter robbing Bonds of a home run in the 2002 All-Star Game.

Enjoy, baseball fans. There are a lot of wonderful baseball memories now available for viewing. But let’s keep the pressure on MLBAM for more — more highlights, more free games and the opportunity to share our home baseball videos. Because sharing memories from one generation to the next is what makes baseball special.



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Wendy writes about sports and the business of sports. She's been published most recently by Vice Sports, Deadspin and NewYorker.com. You can find her work at wendythurm.pressfolios.com and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.


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abreutime
Guest
abreutime
3 years 24 days ago

Love the audio on that Vlad HR.

Los
Guest
Los
3 years 24 days ago

The commentary on the Vlad homerun was amazing. Glad to see his first one was so much like a “typical” Vlad homer.

Bradley Woodrum
Member
Member
3 years 24 days ago

“It may not have been a strike!”

The most perfect thing to say about Vlad’s first homer.

Marcus Tullius Cicero
Guest
Marcus Tullius Cicero
3 years 24 days ago

So given that I’m in Switzerland, I can just log onto YouTube and go to the MLB channel and watch live games every day? Is there a schedule somewhere of which games are going to be shown this way? Because there doesn’t seem to be any indication on the YouTube channel that this exists.

Ammianus Marcellinus
Guest
Ammianus Marcellinus
3 years 24 days ago

Sorry Tully, but you need to be a MLBtv subscriber to watch live games.

cass
Guest
cass
3 years 24 days ago

Actually, based on the article, Cicero appears to be correct.

“Baseball fans around the world — save for those in North America, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — will now have access to two live games each day and an expanded package of highlights.”

Ammianus Marcellinus
Guest
Ammianus Marcellinus
3 years 24 days ago

Oh, my bad.

Marcus Tullius Cicero
Guest
Marcus Tullius Cicero
3 years 24 days ago

Thanks for coming to my defense, there. No thoughts on how to do it, though?

DSC
Guest
DSC
3 years 24 days ago

Vlad’s strength was always being able to drive the ball werll, bot simply make contact. So, so many players could learn from that. Swing to make solid contact, not just hit hard or make contact, be like Vlad!

tylersnotes
Member
3 years 24 days ago

I can understand the exposure gained through a youtube partnership, but given the amount of material available on mlb.com it doesn’t make much sense from a business perspective for the MLB to give more away free somewhere else. Is the exposure alone enough to justify expanding the partnership? Reviewing the most popular videos for the mlb on youtube, it looks like the youtube partnership is more of a way for the mlb to dispose of its multitude of videos with teams/mascots doing the harlem shake.

Incitatus
Guest
Incitatus
3 years 24 days ago

It’s not a highlight section until they put up the video of Jose Canseco allowing a fly ball to bounce off his head and over the wall for a home run.

That clip should be a mandatory part of any baseball highlights reel. Or lowlights reel, for that matter.

Scott
Guest
3 years 24 days ago

Coincidentally, I found that Vlad clip via the “Montreal Expos” Facebook page two weeks ago and thought it was so awesome that I couldn’t help but write at length about how incredible it was. http://wordsabovereplacement.blogspot.com/2013/04/blast-from-past-vlad-impalers-first-kill.html

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 24 days ago

I’m not sure what is weirder, that the Montreal Expos have a Facebook page or that you visited it and found something useful.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
3 years 24 days ago

I’m so puzzled by what they’ve chosen to post. I didn’t have time to get through that many of them, but what I saw were mostly a random selection of tape-measure home runs, followed by a bunch of bean balls and bench-clearing brawls. Is this the image they’re working so hard to get out to the public?

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 23 days ago

I wonder if this reflects the most-searched clips on mlb.com, with the “crown jewels” — as MLB sees it — filtered out. In other words, the actual games and much of the other content is still off-limits (being saved for whenever they can come up with a way to monetize them) so what we’re left with is the stuff that is randomly (or briefly) popular but largely irrelevant.

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