Facebook gets exclusive rights to 25 afternoon Major League Baseball games

10 March, 2018, 01:55 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Mark Brown  Getty

Facebook Watch is the site's video hub for original and live content.

MLB Network will produce the broadcasted games, which primarily take place on weekday afternoons, beginning with an April 4 Philadelphia Phillies-at-New York Mets contest and an April 11 meeting between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. MLB Network said it will introduce new "in-game production elements specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook". Worldwide audiences can watch the games directly on MLB's Facebook page.

"This partnership with Facebook reflects the ongoing commitment of Major League Baseball and our Clubs to connect with people around the world", Tony Petitti, Deputy Commissioner of Business and Media for MLB, said in the statement.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed although sources pegged the price in the $30 million to $35 million range.

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Verizon signed a deal with the NBA to stream eight basketball games on Yahoo, and Amazon paid $50 million to stream National Football League games to Prime members last season.

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Facebook will also have rights to show the baseball games globally, though they won't be exclusive outside the U.S. MLB and Facebook will update the schedule on a monthly basis. But it was beat out by Star India, owned by 21st Century Fox.

Facebook and Major League Baseball are ready to play ball. Last year, the Major League Baseball streamed one Friday game a week, but it wasn't exclusive to Facebook.

The games will be produced by the MLB Network for Facebook Watch, with interactive and social elements that differentiate them from live streaming.

Bonus: if the usual Facebook behavior of your weird uncle, your childhood friend and that woman you knew ten years ago, friended on Facebook and then "liked" every comment she made as a means of trying to recapture that time when you should've made your move but were to afraid to do so are any indication, the comments should be entertaining even if the games aren't.

The league-owned channel was immediately added to YouTube TV's lineup, while MLB.tv - the league's long-running streaming service for live games - will eventually be available to YouTube TV subscribers for an additional fee.

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