Facebook to exclusively stream 25 Major League Baseball games in 2018

Cesar Mills
March 10, 2018

The service will also continue to incorporate Major League Baseball players in promotions, including a variety of national TV spots and on-air call-outs during the games. With all this deal seems to include, Facebook could very well become a source for Major League Baseball news and updates throughout the season, despite the fact that it will only offer a limited number of games.

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

But this deal certainly pushes things forward by offering the social media platform, which as of the fourth quarter of 2017 had 2.2 billion active users globally, exclusive rights to air games.

The agreement will mark the first time a major US league will have its games exclusively streamed on Facebook, which has worked to ramp up its live sports offerings in recent months. Each of the 25 Facebook-exclusive games will be in the afternoon (typically 1PM or 4PM ET), so no prime-time yet, but they'll be produced by the Major League Baseball for a look and feel fans are familiar with.

"This is part of the next great leap", said industry consultant, Lee Berke, of Friday's announcement.

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In addition, the service will see its brand promoted during the first pitches of games on MLB's sports channel, MLB Network, as well as the league's streaming service MLB.tv, and amplified across its digital platforms and social media channels.

Facebook will broadcast one game a week. The first Facebook-streamed game will feature our own Mets playing the the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on Wednesday, April 4.

Overall, these games will add to the Facebook experience.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) shares saw a bump to close out the week as it announced a new deal with Major League Baseball (MLB). Either way, the new era of broadcasting sports took a big step with this announcement. To differentiate the games being streamed on social network, the games will include social integrations that will only be available during Facebook broadcasts.

The first game streamed on Facebook will be between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. Games will be streamed on smartphones, tablets, computers and "other connected devices, including home TVs", notes Bloomberg.

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