News Worms
News Worms

Facebook gets exclusive rights to 25 afternoon Major League Baseball games

Facebook gets exclusive rights to 25 afternoon Major League Baseball games

Last year Major League Baseball and Facebook partnered for some simulcasts with existing TV broadcasts, but this will be MLB's first digital-only national broadcast. What that actually means for the overall look of the broadcast is unclear right now, but they will be produced by MLB Network so expect at least a modicum of familiarity.

Last season Facebook live streamed 20 Major League Baseball games, but it was part of a national simulcast of a team's local television broadcast.

The move marks the first time that one of the major U.S. professional sports leagues has agreed to have regular season games distributed only on Facebook. So you'll get the familiar presentation of televised games - but you'll be able to watch on mobile, desktop, and on TVs through Facebook's app. Facebook also has the ability to integrate "social integration and graphics during the broadcast", according to Bloomberg. The games will also include "in-game production elements specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook", according to a statement from Major League Baseball.

The games add to Facebook's growing sports lineup. projects the Houston Astros will win 98 games next season, while the Los Angeles Dodgers will win 94 wins.

Major League Baseball and YouTube, which is owned by Google, first reached a deal ahead of last year's playoffs that made the company the World Series' presenting sponsor.

Facebook last spring acquired the rights to stream 20 Major League Baseball (MLB) games over the course of the season.

The games will be available for free through Facebook's Watch tab in News Feeds.

The shift toward digital consumption of live sporting events has been ongoing for some time. The NFL partnered with Twitter to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games in 2016. In January, Facebook hired Peter Hutton, the former CEO of Discovery-owned TV network Eurosport, to lead the social media company's push for rights to stream live sports worldwide.

Here is April's schedule, subject to change (all times ET).

YouTube TV launched in April 2017, and recently announced a deal with MLS expansion team Los Angeles FC, which gives the service exclusive Los Angeles-area TV rights to 18 games.

The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will make history during their game on April 4 at Citi Field.


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