North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB) has set a new record for minutes streamed on its MLB.TV out-of-market streaming service for the 2022 regular season.
The platform registered over 11.5 billion minutes watched during the campaign, marking the first time in its history the service surpassed 11 billion.
This season’s total is up 9.8% over last year’s tally of more than 10.5 billion minutes watched.
MLB.TV achieved the previous record in 2021 when more than 10 billion minutes were watched for the first time ever.
The five most-watched games ever and nine of the 10 most-watched games in history all took place in 2022 as Aaron Judge set the American League home run record.
The most-watched game in MLB.TV’s 20-year history was the Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees on April 8, 2022, which was the opening day game for both teams.
The league’s out-of-market streaming platform also accumulated the three most-watched days and nine of the 10 most-watched days ever during the 2022 season.
Viewers also consumed more on-demand and shoulder programming on MLB.TV during the campaign. Viewership of Big Inning, MLB.TV’s nightly highlights show, increased 84% in minutes watched over 2021, while Minor League Baseball games and Free Game of the Day all saw improved viewership and engagement.
MLB made history 20 years ago when it livestreamed 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.
Meanwhile, MLB has renewed its partnership with Google Cloud, the internet giant’s cloud computing service.
Through an expanded, multi-year, strategic partnership, Google Cloud will continue “innovating” MLB's media products and properties, such as MLB.TV and other media platforms.
MLB will utilize a full suite of Google Cloud products including Anthos, BigQuery, Cloud Armor, Looker, and Google Cloud Media APIs, which support the production of live and on-demand video workflows.
Additionally, MLB will pilot Google Cloud's Media CDN, which is described as a “modern, extensible platform for delivering immersive experiences that leverages the same infrastructure as YouTube.”
Optimized for streaming video and large file download workloads, Media CDN will enable MLB.TV to deliver live action, commentary, and archival content.
MLB will use the enhanced tie-up to expand its reach by focusing on three key areas: enhanced video experiences, modernized supply chain, and personalized fan experiences.
The renewed agreement builds on MLB and Google Cloud's 2020 partnership to upgrade its business processes and support fan experiences with Google Cloud's data and analytics solutions.
Robert Manfred, MLB commissioner, said: "Google Cloud has been an outstanding partner to baseball, helping us innovate platforms that provide our fans with exceptional real-time experiences, from Statcast to Film Room.
"With its leading expertise in everything from data analytics to machine learning, this partnership provides us with an unmatched extension of technological resources. Now we can continue collaborating with Google Cloud as a means of further delivering unparalleled digital experiences for our fans."
Thomas Kurian, chief executive of Google Cloud, added: "Major League Baseball has been a clear leader in digital media for decades. We look forward to starting the next chapter of our partnership with the league to further advance its media offerings for years to come by using our data-driven capabilities, AI and ML, and secure global infrastructure."