Facebook to offer live-streamed MLB games, starting Friday night

yahoo sports app update mlb major league baseball safe
Keith Allison/Flickr
Just a couple of months ago rumors swirled that Facebook was in talks with Major League Baseball (MLB) with a view toward streaming a bunch of games during this season.

Well, the social networking giant got what it wanted, inking a deal to stream 20 games on a weekly basis, starting tonight.

The deal marks Facebook’s determination to further expand its live-stream offerings in competition with the likes of Twitter and Amazon, both of whom have been chasing similar sports-focused partnerships.

U.S. based sports fans can enjoy Facebook’s baseball coverage by hitting its MLB page. First game? The Colorado Rockies at the Cincinnati Reds, starting at 7:10 p.m. ET. Incidentally, Twitter’s MLB offerings, which since the start of this season have been showing each Friday, will soon switch to Tuesdays.

Facebook’s Dan Reed, who heads the company’s global sports unit, said in a statement that the nation’s baseball clashes are “uniquely engaging community experiences, as the chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the diamond,” adding, “By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can reimagine this social experience on a national scale.”

Efforts by Facebook and others to increase their live programming are part of a drive to boost user engagement and, ultimately, ad revenue. Twitter scored a touchdown last season with a deal to show a number of Thursday Night Football games, a partnership that’s thought to  have cost the social media company around $10 million. But, in a recent move highlighting just how competitive the space is becoming, Amazon batted Twitter out of the ground and snagged the same coverage for next season in a new deal worth $50 million.

The sports themselves are hoping the deals lead to bigger audiences, as the social media sites weave viewing and fan analysis into one experience that has the potential to drive engagement.

While the social media services are still up against the likes of broadcasting giants NBC and CBS, which continue to pull in much larger audiences with their live TV coverage, these recent deals show how the landscape is changing when it comes to audience viewing habits.

Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.