Facebook Signs Exclusive Deal To Stream 25 MLB Games

Facebook Signs Exclusive Deal To Stream 25 MLB Games

Facebook Signs Exclusive Deal To Stream 25 MLB Games

Facebook will be exclusively streaming 25 Major League Baseball games during the 2018 season, the company and MLB announced Friday morning.

In May 2017, Major League Baseball and Facebook partnered to live stream 20 games during the 2017 regular season with those airing weekly on Friday nights as national simulcasts of a participating team's local television broadcast.

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Produced by MLB Network and its production team specifically for Facebook Watch across its supported devices, including mobile phones and connected televisions, this package of weekday afternoon games will debut a variety of presentation and interactivity innovations.

It's the first time a major USA league has agreed to show regular season games exclusively on Facebook, which has been building a portfolio of live sports. The deal was approved by all 30 major league clubs unanimously. They would not share financial terms, but sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg it was in the ballpark of $30 million to $35 million. In addition to streaming in the US, Facebook also has right to stream worldwide, but those rights won't be exclusive. The company started livestreaming games back in May 2017, but this is the first time a USA major league has granted a social network sole rights to broadcast games. 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. Games will also include in-game elements created for watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook, and the deal features on-demand highlight packages and recaps for each team. Fans may add this game and every weekly broadcast on Facebook Watch to their Watchlists by following the MLB Live show Page. These will be available on Facebook Watch in the United States and to baseball fans around the world.

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The NFL partnered with Twitter to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games in 2016 for a reported $10 million. Facebook had bid the previous two years.

Facebook offered $600 million for the rights to an Indian cricket league, losing out to Fox, and has been boosting its budget for content, including live sports and original shows.

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