T-Mobile extends free MLB.TV deal for subscribers through 2028

The carrier is also providing wireless bandwidth for automated ball-strike calls in the minor leagues.

T-Mobile / Major League Baseball

T-Mobile and Major League Baseball (MLB) are renewing their partnership. In addition to sponsoring various pro-baseball events, the carrier announced today that its subscribers would continue receiving free MLB.TV subscriptions through 2028.

MLB and T-Mobile have offered the deal for the past eight years as part of its T-Mobile Tuesdays promotion, which gives subscribers access to weekly discounts and freebies. MLB.TV lets you stream home and away broadcast feeds around the league — live or on-demand. (However, it’s subject to dreaded regional blackouts, so you shouldn’t count on it to watch teams nearby.) In addition, for the first time this season, the service lets you stream minor-league games for your favorite major-league team’s affiliates in the MLB app.

Speaking of the minor leagues, the two corporations are partnering on an automated ball-strike (ABS) system, which lets Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players and officials “review, challenge and analyze calls.” This season, T-Mobile will power the system with a “5G Private Mobile Network” during some minor-league games. You may recall that MLB has been experimenting with robot umps in the independent Atlantic League since 2019. Last year, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league aims to introduce the system to the big leagues by 2024. From a labor perspective, it’s hard not to see this as a first step toward automating umpires’ jobs, but at least fans can direct their vitriol over (perceived) bad calls to a machine instead of a human.

T-Mobile says its baseball partnership will also include a little-league sponsorship, part of which consists of the carrier donating millions of dollars toward equipment and grants for aspiring young sluggers. It’s also continuing to sponsor the All-Star Week Home Run Derby and batting practice broadcast. Finally, T-Mobile plans to expand its 5G coverage in baseball stadiums across North America, envisioning eventual “immersive 5G-connected experiences for fans” and better in-stadium speeds and reception for its subscribers.