Friday, 17 August, 2018

Mets vs Phillies to be first Major League Baseball game broadcasted on Facebook

Facebook expanding deal with Major League Baseball Facebook to exclusively stream 25 MLB games this season, starting with Mets-Phillies
Scott Davis | 10 March, 2018, 01:50

"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", said Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships.

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

Last year, Facebook streamed 20 Major League Baseball games that were simulcasts of a team's local television broadcast. Reports put Facebook's future spending on live sports licensing in the range of a few billion dollars.

Facebook's first exclusive Major League Baseball game will air on April 4 at 1:10 p.m. ET and feature the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.

As part of the new deal, MLB will produce and distribute on Facebook Watch on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game as well as MLB club-specific weekly recap packages for all 30 MLB teams.

Facebook has loaded up on live sports content over the a year ago as a way to drive more video viewers to its platform.




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.

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.

We first heard about a rumor of a deal between Facebook and Major League Baseball past year during the beginning of Spring Training.

The rest of the lineup for April will include the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, April 11 at 1:15 p.m. EST; the Kansas City Royals playing the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, April 18 at 4:07 p.m. EST; and the Arizona Diamondbacks versus the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, April 26 at 1:05 p.m. EST. According to the press release, "MLB Network will introduce new in-game production elements specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook".

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

Last season, Facebook livestreamed 20 Friday games as a simulcast with the teams' local television broadcasts. In addition to exclusive United States rights, Facebook will also air games globally but won't have exclusive rights there.

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