BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 15: Jackie Bradley Jr. #25 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with Mookie Betts #50 and Xander Bogaerts #2 after scoring against the Seattle Mariners leaves the game in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Days after SNY signed an agreement to stream Mets games in New York and weeks after NBC Sports announced it would stream games for five Major League teams, more in-market streaming deals are reportedly on the way.

After the MLB owners’ meetings Friday, commissioner Rob Manfred said an agreement was in place for NESN to stream Red Sox games, and another deal was on the way with ROOT Sports, which airs the Mariners, Rockies, Astros and Pirates. Barring hiccups, fans who subscribe to those channels should be able to stream games live online from anyway beginning with the 2017 season.

“We think it’s a huge, huge improvement for our fans to be able to watch games livestream in market,” Manfred said, according to USA Today.

Those agreements, assuming ROOT Sports comes along as planned, would mean 27 of the 30 MLB teams had in-market streaming in place. The only remaining exceptions are the Dodgers (SportsNet LA) and the Nationals and Orioles (MASN).

Until very recently, MLB was behind the ball on in-market streaming, so the league deserves credit for catching up so quickly. As we wrote last month after NBC Sports’ announcement…

In-market streaming seems particularly important for baseball, which has become a hyper-local sport with passionate fans watching dozens of their own team’s games while largely ignoring national broadcasts. MLB revenues have exploded in recent years thanks to lucrative cable TV contracts, and it’s in the league’s best interest to maximize those partnerships. And in-market streaming becomes even more important when the out-of-market streaming service ( comes with harsh blackout restrictions that severely limit which games fans can watch.

The MLB brass talks a lot about attracting younger fans and reversing the aging curve of baseball’s audience. Well, kids today don’t like to watch things on TV, they like to watch things on iPhones and iPads. Expanding in-market streaming makes the league more tech-friendly and therefore, presumably, more youth-friendly.

Of course MLB’s work in this area is not yet done, as fans in two of the league’s biggest markets still lack an in-market streaming option. At some point soon, you have to figure MASN and SportsNet LA will come around, at which point watching your local team online will be a standard part of the baseball-fan experience.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.