Facebook to exclusively stream 25 Major League Baseball games a year

Getty Images

Getty Images

The games will be available to Facebook users in the US on Facebook Watch, the company's video feature announced last August, via the MLB Live show page. That is expected to generate innovation around the game's broadcast presentation with interactive elements and production value geared specifically geared toward Facebook's platform.

The games will be produced by the MLB Network, meaning they'll have a broadcast look and feel.

This isn't the first sport that Facebook has streamed, as they've cut deals for UEFA Champions League games and college basketball among others.

YouTube TV plans once again to 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. Their report also stated that the deal is worth between $30 million and $35 million. The deal was unanimously approved by all the clubs. "This is part of the next great leap".

The deal, approved unanimously by Major League Baseball owners, gets started with an April 4 game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. 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. In addition to exclusive USA rights, Facebook will also air games globally but won't have exclusive rights there.

First up will be the Mets and Phillies on the first Wednesday of the regular season. These will be available on Facebook Watch in the USA and around the world.

Last season, Facebook livestreamed 20 Friday games as a simulcast with the teams' local television broadcasts. The integrated marketing campaign's success throughout October 2017 led YouTube and Major League Baseball to extend and broaden the World Series partnership for an additional two years. The company did acquire the rights to NFL recaps and highlights, giving the league a way to reach fans on the social media service.

The move represents Facebook's latest foray into the world of live sports streaming.

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