Facebook To Stream 25 MLB Games Exclusively This Season

New York Mets live on Facebook

In a continuing effort to become a one stop shop for virtually everything, Facebook has signed an exclusive deal with Major League Baseball to stream 25 afternoon games during the 2018 season, according to Bloomberg.

The latest MLB deal expands on a growing partnership between Facebook and the league.

Major League Baseball said all 30 club owners had agreed to the deal with Facebook. Neither MLB nor Facebook disclosed the financial terms, though people with knowledge of the matter put the price at $30 million to $35 million.

The deal was approved unanimously by the 30 Major League Clubs, with the agreement marking an extension of Facebook's 2017 season deal to simulcast local television broadcasts of 20 Friday night MLB games. First time a major US league has granted social network exclusivity. Late previous year, sources told Sports Business Journal that Facebook planned to spend "a few billion dollars" on sports streaming deals.

The partnership will begin on April 4 with a match-up between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. MLB Network will introduce new in-game production elements specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook. 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. Fans may add this game and every weekly broadcast on Facebook Watch to their Watchlists by following the MLB Live show Page.

Major League Baseball will produce and distribute specially curated content, in addition to each live game broadcast, including on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game, as well as club-specific weekly recap packages for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. These will be available on Facebook Watch in the United States and to baseball fans around the world.

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. Facebook Watch is the site's video hub for original and live content.



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