Good luck finding Thursday’s Phillies game on television.
The match-up against the Miami Marlins won’t air on NBC Sports Philadelphia, and it isn’t being carried by ESPN, FS1, or any other cable channel. It’s airing exclusively on YouTube as part of a deal with MLB to appeal to a younger and more global audience.
This is the third year YouTube is airing baseball games exclusively on its platform, although last year’s partnership was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Once again, the MLB Network is producing the broadcast, which means Tom McCarthy, John Kruk, and the rest of the Phillies crew get the night off.
As far as the booth goes, MLB Network’s Scott Braun will handle hosting duties and the play-by-play call. Alongside him will be former Marlins slugger Cliff Floyd and former Phillies pitcher Dan Plesac, who got Twitter abuzz last week after cursing live on air while hosting MLB Tonight. Christina De Nicola will join the broadcast as an in-game reporter.
Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins
When: Thursday, March 27
Where: LoanDepot Park, Miami
Start time: 12:10 p.m.
Announcers: Scott Braun, Cliff Floyd, Dan Plesac
Thursday’s Phillies-Marlins game will air free on MLB’s official YouTube channel on any device. Xfinity subscribers can watch it by simply saying “YouTube” into their remote. It can also be found by searching “MLB” in the YouTube app and will stream on an exclusive MLB channel on YouTube TV (which does require a subscription).
You can also stream it here:
Because there are no traditional commercial breaks, YouTube and the MLB Network have several bells-and-whistles to fill air time, including live interviews with players and a running flow of comments from a mix of baseball-heavy YouTube creators. Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins will be mic’d up during the game, and expect at least one poll question featuring some Phillie Phanatic highlights.
“We’re calling the action with all the nuts and bolts fans are used to receiving during a ballgame,” Braun told the Inquirer. “But we’re also focused on taking the experience to the next level by enhancing the broadcast with some of these unique features that bring you inside access and interaction, too.”
YouTube will also air a 30-minute pregame show beginning at 11:30 a.m., hosted by MLB Network’s Adnan Virk and former Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd, who works as an analyst.
So far this season, YouTube has aired six games and averaged nearly 940,000 views per game (which Google vaguely describes as “how many times a video or channel has been interacted with”). For comparison, the Phillies are averaging a 4.36 household rating (about 130,685 households) on NBC Sports Philadelphia this season, according to the network.
Here are all the MLB games that will air exclusively on YouTube through the All-Star break. The league has not yet announced its YouTube schedule for the second half of the season.
Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels: Thursday, June 17, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern
Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers: Tuesday, June 22, at 8 pm. Eastern
Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays: Wednesday, June 30, at 7 p.m. Eastern
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers: Friday, July 9, at 8 p.m. Eastern