Roku strikes multiyear deal with MLB to stream games for free

A Roku remote in hand in front of a TV with the Roku home page.
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Roku just struck an exclusive deal with MLB to broadcast Sunday games, the company announced this week. Best of all you can watch for free on the Roku Channel whether you have one of the best Roku devices or not. The first game of the new multi-year deal will be this Sunday, May 19.

Roku's package, branded as "Sunday Leadoff," consists of 18 games starting with Sunday's showdown between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. Twenty-four teams are part of the package, and with the exception of two West Coast start times, Roku games will be the first ones taking place on streaming.

With this new partnership, Roku has also launched an MLB Zone channel that will act as a one-stop destination for fans to browse, discover and stream everything related to Major League Baseball. Broadcast teams each week will be "market-focused, according to Roku, with Chip Caray (play-by-play), Will Middlebrooks (analyst), and Alexa Datt (reporter) calling this Sunday’s game.

“As television programming, live sports, and the leagues have fragmented across networks, apps, and multiple packages, Roku — home to all of them — plays an increasingly crucial role for viewers and advertisers,” said Roku Media President Charlie Collier in a press release. “With this deal, Roku delivers free, live, weekly Sunday baseball and 24/7 baseball curation, destinations, and channels across our platform. The lead-in to all of television is now the lead-off for Sunday baseball as well. It’s a terrific partnership.”

MLB's deal with Roku, which comes two years after select Friday matchups began appearing on Apple TV, marks its latest effort to make its games more widely available on the best streaming devices. The league previously had a deal with Peacock, NBC's streaming service, to broadcast early Sunday games. 

Roku Sunday Leadoff

(Image credit: Roku)

Where to watch Roku Sunday Leadoff

If you already own one of the best Roku devices, just head to the Sports section on your home screen menu to watch games for free every Sunday. Alternatively, you can search "MLB Leadoff" in the search bar. If you're on the go, you can also catch the game each Sunday from the Roku mobile app. 

For viewers who don't own a Roku device, you can stream the games on the Roku Channel app, which is free on Amazon Fire TV devices, Samsung TVs and Google TVs. You can go directly to the Roku Channel's website to catch the game as well, and there's no login required. The games also will be available to MLB.TV subscribers. Previously, these telecasts were available through Peacock with a subscription to one of the best streaming services

Whether you're watching on Roku or MLB.TV, there are no blackouts for these games. And if you miss the action, don't fret: You can stream a full game replay on either your Roku device or The Roku Channel six hours after the game ends.

Roku Sunday Leadoff full MLB schedule

  • May 19, Red Sox vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m. ET
  • May 26, Blue Jays vs. Tigers, 11:35 a.m. ET
  • June 2, Twins vs. Astros, 1:05 p.m. ET
  • June 9, Giants vs. Rangers, 1:05 p.m. ET
  • June 16, Cardinals vs. Cubs, 1:05 p.m. ET
  • June 23, Diamondbacks vs. Phillies, 11:35 a.m. ET
  • June 30, Pirates vs. Braves, 11:35 a.m. ET
  • July 7, Diamondbacks vs. Padres, 4:10 p.m. ET
  • July 14, Yankees vs. Orioles, 11:35 a.m. ET
  • July 21, Brewers vs. Twins, 1:05 p.m. ET
  • July 28, Reds vs. Rays, 11:35 a.m. ET
  • August 4, Giants vs. Reds, 12:05 p.m. ET
  • August 11, Angels vs. Nationals, 11:35 a.m. ET
  • August 18, Marlins vs. Mets, 12:05 p.m. ET
  • August 25, Nationals vs. Braves, 12:05 p.m. ET
  • September 1, Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks, 4:10 p.m. ET
  • September 8, Rays vs. Orioles, 12:05 p.m. ET
  • September 15, Reds vs. Twins, 1:05 p.m. ET

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.