EXCLUSIVE: Major League Baseball’s online streaming service set a viewing record for a single game last night with the New York Yankees captain’s final game in pinstripes — where, in a moment almost too dramatically perfect to believe, he drove in the game-winning run. Fans accessed 641,000 streams, beating by 18% the previous one-game regular-season record set on this year’s opening day, March 31. Viewing peaked just before 10:20 PM ET when Derek Jeter hit his single to right and touched off the Yankees’ on-field celebration.
The streaming figure for Jeter is especially impressive because it doesn’t include any viewers in New York or Baltimore; MLB.TV subscribers only get to watch out-of-market games, so it doesn’t compete with local broadcast or cable telecasts. Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Boston were the top markets for last night’s game. The only baseball event that topped last night was the Home Run Derby that took place the day before the All-Star Game in July. That attracted about 800,000 streams — but had the advantage of being available in all markets.
Fans clearly were cued in to the end of Jeter’s nearly 20-year career. In the past 24 hours they watched more than 15M Jeter-related clips on MLB.com. The vast majority of MLB.TV subscribers pay $129.99 for a full season, which they can access via Apple and Android-powered devices, as well as all of the major gaming consoles and smart TVs. About 3.5M people bought the service and MLB’s At Bat mobile app this year, up from 3M in 2013.
Those who want to try out MLB.TV can do so for free this weekend, the last of the regular season — including Jeter’s final three games in Boston against the Red Sox.
MLB.TV hasn’t offered postseason games domestically in the past because they would conflict with national television broadcasts. But this year subscribers who also have cable or satellite will be able to watch the World Series (to be televised on Fox) and some other playoff games.