Major League baseball is one of America’s most watched sports but coverage overseas especially in New Zealand is poor.
Today we’ll show you how to watch Major League baseball in NZ.
What is Major League Baseball?
Major League Baseball is a professional baseball organisation based in the United States and Canada. Major League Baseball (MLB) is host of the National League and the American League, two professional baseball competitions consisting of 15 teams each.
MLB was founded in 1903, however, the National League and the American League were founded in 1876 and 1901, respectively. 29 of the 30 total MLB teams are from the United States, with the exception being Canada’s Toronto Blue Jays.
Major League Baseball Games
The current MLB season has each team playing 162 games, usually beginning on the first Sunday of April and ending on the first Sunday of October.
With so many games to play, the MLB differs from many other professional sports leagues that play only one match per week, instead teams compete 5 days a week, usually with Monday and Thursday as off days.
Each team plays 19 matches against its four divisional opponents, in addition to the same number of matches against four opponents from a division within the other league (National and American).
At the conclusion of the 162 normal game season, 10 teams compete in the post season MLB playoffs. 6 of these teams are the division champions, who performed the best in terms of wins and losses throughout the regular season.
The remaining four are composed of ‘wildcards’, two from each league, who performed the best in the regular season but were not division champions.
The playoffs themselves consist of four competitions, the Wild Card Game, the American and National League Division Series, the American/National League Championship Series and finally concluding with the World Series.
The World Series is a best of seven-game series played between the top finishers of each league.
Recent MLB Seasons
The most recent season was the 2018/2019 series, which began on March 29, 2018 and ended in October 1. The World Series for the 2018 season took place on October 23 between the American League champion Boston Red Sox and National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was a particularly dominant performance by the Boston Red Sox that won them the series and in turn the league, winning 4-1. This became the Red Sox’s fourth win in the last 15 years, and ninth in the entirety of their franchise history.
The series was also noted for achieving the record of most innings in one game (18) in the third match. The MVP of the series was Boston’s Steve Pearce, who scored twice and had four RBIs (run batted in).
Major League Baseball receives massive international and domestic attention, both in terms of physical attendance and viewership. I
t has the highest season attendance of all sports leagues within the entire world, at 69.6 million spectators in 2018.
Moreover, viewers from across the world tune in through the television, radio and on the internet to watch, with nearly 18 million viewers clocked in for the 5th game of the 2018/2019 World Series Game 5 within the US alone, accounting only for viewers watching via television.
How To Watch Major League Baseball NZ
There is a few options to watch all MLB games in New Zealand including:
Option 1: Sky Sports / ESPN
You’ll find quite a few games each week on ESPN but you’ll need a Sky Sports premium subscription to get access.
It’s also not clear which games are shown live and there’s no on demand content either.
Fans of smaller teams will be disappointed as most of the ‘big’ teams are featured instead.
You definitely can’t rely on your team getting coverage on ESPN New Zealand.
Option 2: Watch On MLB.TV
Probably the best option for New Zealanders, as you can watch all games live and on demand without any blackouts. They offer a free ad sponsored app where you can watch selected games live and on demand however to watch all games you need a premium subscription.
You can choose between home and away broadcast commentary as well as watch extended highlights shows.
How much does MLB.TV cost?
They currently have a free tier which is available through the app however you only get limited games.
You can subscribe to their monthly plan for $24.99 USD a month or $112.99 USD a year.
Both plans come with full access to all games without blackouts.
Be aware they do automatically renew monthly subscriptions.