Major League Baseball Needs to Allow Baseball Videos on YouTube

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IJuly 14, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11:  American League All-Star Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers films with a video camera during the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby at Chase Field on July 11, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

For over a century, Major League Baseball has been the sport that has held the biggest impact on how sports are viewed in America.

Under the umbrella of baseball, we have seen outdoor events played at night on a widespread scale, All-Star games, integration and having an official Major League game played outside of North America in a regular season for the first time.

However, a massive problem that has faced baseball today is the implementation of technology into the game.

Besides the long-awaited call that resulted in instant replay for disputed home runs, baseball continues to neglect the use of technology into its game.

This also includes technology in use off of the baseball diamond.

Despite having baseball more accessible today than any other time in its history, MLB refuses to venture into putting highlights onto YouTube.

Instead, baseball represses the use of game footage uploaded onto the popular video website, choosing to flag videos that contain game footage.

Currently, none of the videos on YouTube under the tags "baseball" or "MLB" contain any plays from an actual Major League Baseball game.

Major League Baseball finally went to video replay on controversial home run calls in 2008
Major League Baseball finally went to video replay on controversial home run calls in 2008J. Meric/Getty Images

When a person types in MLB on YouTube's search bar for either of the previously mentioned terms, the main items that appear are baseball fights, game play from MLB video games or the recent tragic death of Shannon Stone at a Texas Rangers game.

Videos of NBA buzzer beaters and Game 7 of the 2010 NBA finals both appeared before any MLB action.

Of course, other major American leagues such as the NBA, NHL and MLS all have official pages that showcase highlights from games, along with some of the off-the-field work players accomplish for communities.

Major League Baseball has its own channel, but it has only 229 videos. The only video highlights of any kind are of past All-Star game moments for fans to vote on.

Now, Major League Baseball has not neglected to put up videos of game highlights online. However, these videos are put onto team's official sites. In order to go through video highlights before this year, you needed to go through a search before you found the highlight you were looking for.

On a team site for a video highlight, you get videos in high definition with options to put them on Twitter or Facebook. There is also an option to send the video in an email.

People in Japan can watch Ichiro's MLB highlights on YouTube
People in Japan can watch Ichiro's MLB highlights on YouTubeOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Despite providing links to the videos on MLB Gameday and on Twitter, video highlights for fans are not easy to find.

But now that we are halfway through 2011, baseball must finally put in a service so fans can watch video highlights on YouTube here in the United States.

These video highlights should be chosen at the full discretion of the team for each game and should be put up within several hours of the completion of a game. Due to this, each team should have its own YouTube channel to show its respective content. 

By having these videos put up, baseball will be able to get free advertising by showcasing their product, which will result in having more people exposed to the product.

Just look at the success the NBA has gotten by doing this. In April of last year, the NBA announced they reached 1 billion streams since the 2009 NBA Draft.

Of course this does not include YouTube views. But because the NBA does not have a policy of restricting videos on YouTube, more fans around the world have been exposed to the game, which in turn has helped to create more fan interest in the NBA.

Baseball will also be able to have fans express their own opinions on these plays through the comment threads on these videos and will help MLB understand what the fans want on these videos.

Along with having teams put up specific videos of game highlights, MLB should also start to put up highlights of historic moments on their channel.

MLB should also decide to lift its copyright on any game footage on YouTube. By lifting its copyright on game footage, fans will be able to create highlight films for certain players, along with putting up game footage of some of their favorite players. 

For MLB, putting highlights up on YouTube can only help the league in the long run. Not only will it get them new fans, but it will also create revenue by having companies sponsor the videos.

This will be great for baseball and will help the game grow throughout the world.

In case you want to help me further stress this message to Major League Baseball, please sign a petition I created for this cause:


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