For the first time since MLB.TV debuted in 2002, its subscribers will have access to live stream every game of the World Series through the No. 1 sports streaming service, available via the MLB.com At Bat app and more than 400 connected devices.
That was one of many developments learned on Thursday as details of the new MLB on FOX national broadcast schedule was announced for the 2014 Major League Baseball season.
MLB.TV subscribers also will have the ability to live stream the All-Star Game and games in the FOX Saturday national broadcast window beginning this season.
For the first time, subscribers will be able to live stream every game of the Fall Classic this October as well as the 85th All-Star Game, scheduled for July 15 at Target Field in Minnesota, via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including through the highest-grossing sports app ever, MLB.com At Bat.
Beginning in May, MLB.TV subscribers for the first time will have the ability to watch live regular season games not being shown on FOX broadcast television in their respective territories. Using this year's first FOX Saturday national broadcast window as an example, here is how the new access applies to MLB.TV subscribers:
On May 24, the FOX Saturday national broadcast schedule features three regionally distributed games beginning at 7 p.m. ET: Cardinals at Reds, Nationals at Pirates, and Royals at Angels. Any MLB.TV subscriber in the FOX viewing territory of the Cardinals-Reds game would be able to watch the Nationals-Pirates and Royals-Angels games live on any supported device.
In previous years, MLB.TV subscribers would have been subject to national blackout restrictions for all three live games. The same policy then would be applicable to MLB.TV subscribers in the FOX viewing territories of the other two live games.
The accessibility to games previously blacked out to MLB.TV subscribers was introduced as part of the eight-year multi-platform media rights agreement MLB and FOX Sports announced in October 2012.
FOX Sports, MLB's primary broadcast rights holder since 1996 and exclusive national broadcast partner since 2001, begins an eight-year, multiplatform media rights agreement that adds national cable and digital coverage to its portfolio. It doubles regular season exposures, mostly on Saturdays, from 26 to 52 combined on FOX and its new FOX Sports 1 national news channel, with 20 Saturday doubleheaders, 10 exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and 10 split between FOX Sports 1 and FOX.
The first FOX Sports 1 broadcast of MLB is a Saturday doubleheader on April 5 featuring Twins at Indians (1 p.m. ET) and Giants at Dodgers (4 ET).
The defending National League champion Cardinals make their FOX Sports 1 debut with the channel's first primetime showing at 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 8 against the visiting Reds. Boston, which beat the Cardinals in six last October for its third World Series title in 10 years, premieres on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 12, at the rival Yankees.
The FOX Sports broadcast network picks up its first Yankees-Red Sox matchup at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 28.
FOX Sports makes its 2014 MLB debut at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 24, with the first of eight consecutive primetime windows leading up to the Midsummer Classic. Featured is regionalized coverage of three exciting matchups, preceded by the Rangers at Tigers at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
In addition to the All-Star Game, FOX remains the exclusive broadcast home to MLB's crown jewel events, including the World Series, while FOX Sports 1 will televise two Division Series, with one game from each carried by MLB Network, and the League Championship Series.
All regular season games, Division Series, LCS, World Series games and the All-Star Game televised on FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1 are being streamed live via FOX Sports GO through participating video providers.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.