March 17, 2018

Facebook to live stream 25 MLB afternoon games for US users

10 March 2018, 06:10 | Ross Houston

Wrigley Field in Chicago

Wrigley Field in Chicago

Facebook had tied up with MLB previous year to air 20 of the league's games live.

In a statement, MLB said these games will be produced by MLB Network and its production team specifically for Facebook Watch across its supported devices, including mobile phones and connected televisions.

It's the first time a major US sports league has given Facebook exclusivity.

Available globally, with the exception of select worldwide markets, the 25 telecasts this season will be produced by MLB Network specifically for streaming across Facebook's supported devices, including mobile devices and connected TVs, on the MLB Live page. Late last year, sources told Sports Business Journal that Facebook would spend "a few billion dollars" on sports streaming deals, and given that Amazon paid $50 million for Thursday night National Football League games a year ago, the MLB arrangement might be investing in a market the social network already had a foothold in.

In a move that further confirms the shift in how sports leagues are delivering their content to fans, MLB and Facebook have struck a deal under which the social networking platform gets exclusive rights to 25 afternoon games this season, Bloomberg News first reported via Twitter.

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It said that Facebook is broadening its sports lineup. To differentiate the games being streamed on social network, the games will include social integrations that will only be available during Facebook broadcasts.

Facebook will stream 25 Major League Baseball games during the 2018 season. If you are hoping to watch the game, you'd better have a Facebook account. Either way, the new era of broadcasting sports took a big step with this announcement.

On April 4, the Phillies will face the Mets at Citi Field in the final game of a three-game divisional series.

The two groups said Friday that the deal is an extension from a previous partnership a year ago in which Facebook streamed 20 baseball games.

Wednesday, April 11: Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15 p.m. It sounds like Facebook will be live streaming MLB Network's own feed of these games, though we'll likely see it make some social enhancements to these streams to increase engagement among viewers. You'll be able to watch the first game of this exclusivity deal on April 4, with a game between the Phillies and the Mets.

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