Facebook and the MLB have reached an agreement that will allow the social media giant to stream 25 weekly games starting in 2018. These 25 games will be distributed via Facebook Watch as part of MLB Live show Page, making this the MLB’s first digital-only distribution. The agreement was unanimously approved by 30 Major League Clubs.
“This partnership with Facebook reflects the ongoing commitment of Major League Baseball and our Clubs to connect with people around the world,” said the MLB’s Tony Petitti. “It is a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans, who will enjoy a uniquely interactive experience watching our games on Facebook each week.”
The games will be produced by the MLB with the help of an Emmy-winning production team working to optimize the experience for Facebook Watch. In addition to desktop and television, the games will be available across all Facebook Watch platforms, including smartphones and other mobile devices. The MLB is also working to take advantage of the interactive nature of Facebook and make it easy for fans to comment, share, and otherwise interact with the games on Facebook.
“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 Facebook’s Dan Reed. “Community and conversation are central to both baseball and Facebook, and MLB Network’s innovative broadcasts will bring these interactive and social elements of the game to life to fans around the world in new ways on our platform.”
The broadcast will begin in April with a game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, April 4. Fans can add this and upcoming games to their Facebook live watchlist by following the MLB Live Show page.
This is not the first time that Facebook has gotten involved in sports-related content. In 2016, the company unveiled Facebook Sports Stadium. While this service did not livestream any of the games, it did provide a way for fans to connect with other fans and comment on games in real time, while providing a wealth of content in the form of real-time updates and commentary from those in the sports community.
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