With close games, exciting star performances, surprising starts and two no-hitters to begin the 2021 season, MLB.TV is registering record streaming numbers through the first three weekends of the season. The beginning of the season marked the most-watched 18-day period in the 20-season history of MLB.TV, the longest-running and most successful live streaming sports product.
During the 18-day period from Opening Day through April 18th, fans watched more than 1.34 billion minutes of live games on MLB.TV, a +12% increase compared to the first 18 days of last season and +43% when compared to the same time period of the 2019 season. In addition, total games watched on the league’s out-of-market streaming platform are up +22% compared to last season and +35% compared to 2019.
MLB.TV has registered the seven most-watched days ever and eight of the top 10 most-watched days in MLB.TV history in 2021. In addition, there have been three of the top four and six of the 10 most-watched games ever over the first two weeks of the season.
Opening Day 2021 was the most-watched day in MLB.TV history, surpassing previous highs set on Opening Day 2020. Users watched a total of 121 million minutes of live games on MLB.TV, +26% vs. the previous high.
The extra innings Opening Day game featuring the Toronto Blue Jays at the New York Yankees was the most-watched game on MLB.TV of all time, drawing +47% more viewers than the next most watched game (CHC @ MIA, 3/29/18).
In addition, live games on MLB Network are pacing +12% compared to the first 15 days of the 2020 season. Following last Wednesday’s MLB Network Showcase telecast of the Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, MLB Tonight recorded its third most-watched postgame show in MLB Network history, as the program covered the White Sox’s Carlos Rodón no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.
Last week, ESPN announced that through the first two weeks, Sunday Night Baseball viewership average is +33% compared to the 2020 full season average. The full ESPN announcement can be found here.
Through the first three weekends of the season, more than 2.2 million fans have filled ballparks at an average of 80% adjusted capacity. Since Opening Day, the MLB app and MLB Ballpark app have been the first and second most downloaded sports apps on phones based on combined rankings on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. More than 60% of all ticket scans this year have come from the Ballpark app, which is three times higher than 2019. On social media since Opening Day, MLB and its Club accounts have gained +19% more followers and +16% more social engagements compared to the first two weeks of the 2020 season.