Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Facebook to exclusively stream 25 Major League Baseball games a year

Facebook to exclusively stream 25 Major League Baseball games a year

Facebook has struck a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) to exclusively stream one live weekday afternoon game per week in the U.S. on its Facebook Watch platform. The partnership will start on April 4, with the Philadelphia Phillies vs New York Mets match.

Facebook's deal consists of weekday afternoon games, mostly on Wednesdays. Facebook Watch is the site's video hub for original and live content.

The weekly broadcasts will be shown exclusively on Facebook Watch in the US via the MLB Live show page.

MLB Deputy Commissioner Tony Petitti called the move, "a major creative step forward". This will include on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game as well as club-specific weekly recap packages for all 30 Major League Baseball teams.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Tech companies are willing to spend tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars on this effort.

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What: Facebook has signed an exclusivity deal with Major League Baseball to stream 25 matches on the social network.

The new agreement is valued between $30 million to $35 million, according to Bloomberg. In addition to streaming in the US, Facebook also has right to stream worldwide, but those rights won't be exclusive. But it was beat out by Star India, owned by 21st Century Fox. MLB Network will introduce new in-game production elements specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook. This also means that people who subscribe to the league's online streaming service will have to watch the 25 baseball games on Facebook, a spokesperson for the social network said. Given that Amazon has already paid $50 million to streaming Thursday night National Football League games a year ago, the MLB arrangement might be investing in a market that Facebook is already in.

Facebook's Major League Baseball deal underscores the fiercely competitive market of technology companies like Google goog , Sony, Hulu, Amazon, and Twitter debuting streaming video services that include shows and sporting events traditionally shown on broadcasting and cable networks.

With its recent licensing deal with Warner Music Group, Facebook now allows its users to use, upload, and share music ...

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