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MLB.TV, the out-of-market streaming service of North America’s Major League Baseball, has set a new viewership record for the start of the 2023 season after fans flocked to watch its Opening Day content.

The 2023 MLB season kicked off on March 30, with all 30 teams taking the field and 15 games played.

The league announced more than 172 million minutes of live games were consumed by viewers via its streaming service on the day, marking a 42% increase from the previous year’s record of 121 million minutes watched.

The league’s OTT platform features MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, regional sports networks (RSNs), local broadcast networks, and national sports networks ESPN and Fox Sports, as well as every out-of-market game, live.

The opening day of the new season also generated the largest online merchandise sales day in history, increasing 10% over the previous high registered in 2021.

The league’s social media accounts, meanwhile, generated 83% more views than last year’s opening day.

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By GlobalData

Last year, the league announced its MLB.TV platform registered a record 11.5 billion minutes watched during the 2022 regular season, marking the first time in its history the service surpassed 11 billion.

That season’s total increased by 9.8% over the 2021 campaign's tally of more than 10.5 billion minutes watched.

MLB made history 20 years ago when it live-streamed a regular season game for the first time in August 2002. In 2003, MLB became the first professional sports league to stream a full season of games.

Last month, FuboTV, the US over-the-top live TV sports streaming service, agreed a distribution deal to carry MLB.TV this season.

Image: Denis Poroy/Getty Images