Facebook in exclusive deal to stream 25 Major League Baseball games

Opening day for the Major League Baseball is right around the corner, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has shared some news that might pique the interest of fans for the upcoming season.

This isn't the first time the platform has aired baseball games - they started livestreaming some back in May 2017 - but It will be the first time a USA major league has granted a social network sole rights to broadcast games.

All of the games will take place on weekday afternoons, primarily Wednesdays. The casual fan that doesn't even know what channel SNY is on their cable box, may happen to want to watch a game on Facebook if they stumble upon it. The agreement marks the first time Major League Baseball has sold rights for games that will air exclusively on a digital platform.

The games are mostly Wednesday afternoon games, so far from prime time, but stand as another foray into live sports for the social media company.

Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, added, "We're excited to extend our partnership with Major League Baseball to make Facebook Watch a home for exclusive, live games every week this season".

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

And production by the MLB Network will mean a polished presentation out of the box, but with Facebook able to experiment with social integration and graphics in the broadcast.

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It's not the first time Major League Baseball has partnered with Facebook.

Last year, the league streamed one Friday game a week, but it wasn't exclusive to Facebook.

Games broadcast on Facebook will also provide users with the flexibility to watch on any screen.

Although the games are not the playoffs or the World Series, analyst Lee Berke told CNN it shows Facebook is becoming a major media competitor.

Facebook, and its 1.4 billion active daily users, began streaming Major League Baseball games last May, however they did not have exclusive rights until now. "It doesn't stop here".

The shift toward digital consumption of live sporting events has been ongoing for some time. Amazon paid $50 million last season to broadcast 11 games from the NFL's "Thursday Night Football" series. YouTube TV branding will appear across MLB's digital properties and official social media accounts, as well as in stadiums.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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