Facebook reaches exclusive deal to stream 25 MLB games


Facebook and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced on Friday that the social media giant will exclusively stream 25 MLB games this season. Every game also will be available globally on the show page, excluding select worldwide markets.

The first game to air will reportedly be an April 4th matchup between the Mets and Phillies, (feel. the. excitement!).

The service also plans to once again incorporate Major League Baseball players in its promotional efforts throughout the multi-year deal, which will also include a variety of national TV spots and on-air call-outs during the games, branding across MLB's digital properties and official social media accounts, and in-stadium promotion.

All of the games will take place on weekday afternoons, primarily Wednesdays. The company will stream 25 Major League Baseball games this summer on Facebook Watch.

The rest of the lineup for April will include the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, April 11 at 1:15 p.m. EST; the Kansas City Royals playing the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, April 18 at 4:07 p.m. EST; and the Arizona Diamondbacks versus the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, April 26 at 1:05 p.m. EST.

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

Also as part of the deal, the league will produce curated content for Facebook Watch, like on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game, as well as team-specific recaps. Facebook said Friday that recorded broadcasts will also be available globally, excluding select global markets. These will be available on Facebook Watch in the US and around the world. For Facebook, however, the rights allow for experimentation with things like social integration and graphics during the broadcast, enhancements popular with younger viewers drawn to digital platforms.

"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", Petitti said.

The sports streaming landscape has grown increasingly competitive in recent years, with digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon bidding millions to secure exclusive rights to lure new users.

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