YouTube TV will stream YouTube’s exclusive MLB Game of the Week broadcasts in 4K, starting with tonight’s game (May 18) between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The multi-channel, live streaming service had planned to provide the games in 4K starting with YouTube’s first game of the year, which pitted the Washington Nationals versus the Colorado Rockies on May 5. However, the streamer pulled the 4K broadcast on game day, citing technical concerns over how the picture would look. Instead, YouTube TV provided a high-def feed for the May 5 game and YouTube’s May 11 contest between the Brewers and Reds.
But a YouTube TV spokesperson tells the TV Answer Man that the technical issues have been resolved and that the 4K broadcasts will begin tonight. YouTube TV subscribers who get the streamer’s 4K add-on package ($19.99 a month) will be able to access the 4K feed of the game.
“(MLB) 4K will be available for YTV folks (tonight),” the spokesperson said. “It is part of the YouTube TV 4K Plus package.”
However, it’s unclear if non-YouTube TV subscribers will have access to the 4K Game of the Week feed as well. YouTube’s listing for the game at the YouTube main site does not say it will be available in 4K. It’s possible that only YouTube TV 4K subscribers will be able to see it in 4K.
“No updates to provide with regard to watching MLB in 4K on YouTube Main,” the YouTube spokesperson said. ”
Major League Baseball last month renewed its contract with YouTube to allow the streamer to offer 15 regular season games this season. The games, which are free, will be exclusive to YouTube, meaning they won’t be available on any other service including MLB Extra Innings, MLB.TV or the teams’ regional sports channels.
MLB Network, which is owned by the league, are producing the YouTube games with Scott Braun and Yonder Alonso on the call. The broadcasts will include pre-game shows and interactive features such as chat and polls.
Here are some more games scheduled for 4K on YouTube via YouTube TV following the Pirates-Cubs game tonight:
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 and MLB will announce the remaining games later in the season.
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— Phillip Swann