Facebook Signs Exclusive Deal to Stream 25 MLB Games


Those who wish to watch these games will have to head over to the MLB Live show page on Facebook's Watch platform.

The weekday afternoon games will be primarily on Wednesdays, and the first will air on 4 April (a match-up between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets). It's not like Facebook hasn't streamed Major League Baseball games before. "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 move marks the first time that one of the major USA professional sports leagues has agreed to have regular season games distributed only on Facebook. The agreement was unanimously approved by 30 Major League Clubs. Financial terms were not released.

"Much like the migration of sports from broadcast to cable, you're reaching these milestones where the combination of the financial incentive and the audience allow you to make the next great leap", said Lee Berke, an industry consultant. It also plans to stream 47 upcoming U.S. college basketball games from smaller conferences.

MLB Network will produce the games, "meaning they'll have a broadcast look and feel".

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

Although Facebook opted out of a bidding war for the NFL's Thursday Night Football games, its roster of sports streams has expanded greatly in recent years with soccer, college basketball and now professional baseball.

As fans increasingly watch games online, social media companies have increased their focus on signing live-streaming sports deals.

It is also the latest instance of Silicon Valley's biggest names getting involved with America's favorite sports leagues.