Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Facebook obtains exclusive rights to stream 25 Major League Baseball games this season

Facebook obtains exclusive rights to stream 25 Major League Baseball games this season

Those who wish to watch these games will have to head over to the MLB Live show page on Facebook's Watch platform.

This MLB season, Facebook will get exclusive rights to stream afternoon MLB games, starting with the first game on April 4th between Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, according to a report from Bloomberg. It's not like Facebook hasn't streamed Major League Baseball games before.

Major League Baseball will stream an afternoon weekday game exclusively on Facebook Live each week during the 2018 season, the league announced Friday.

The agreement is a coup for Facebook, which had not previously secured an exclusive streaming deal with any of the major American sports leagues.

The move marks the first time that one of the major U.S. professional sports leagues has agreed to have regular season games distributed only on Facebook. Financial terms were not released. It also plans to stream 47 upcoming United States college basketball games from smaller conferences. Each of the 25 Facebook-exclusive games will be streamed in the afternoon (usually 1PM or 4PM ET), so no, they aren't prime-time games yet, but they will be produced by the Major League Baseball for a look and feel that game fans love. In addition to desktop and television, the games will be available across all Facebook Watch platforms, including smartphones and other mobile devices.

Earlier this year, Facebook opted against bidding for the National Football League's Thursday Night package, which Inc. carried last season.

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. The company did acquire the rights to NFL recaps and highlights, giving the league a way to reach fans on the social media service.

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