Leave it to Facebook to try something cutting edge and innovative. The social media giant announced last month it plans to broadcast 25 Major League Baseball games this coming season.
Per Reuters.com, “Facebook had tied up with MLB last year to air 20 of the league’s games live.”
“The first broadcast will be the match between National League East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, on April 4.”
It makes sense for Facebook to want to get into the sports business as fans of all major sports watch a majority of their games online now because of convenience and location. Social media companies are increasing their focus on signing live-streaming sports deals.
Per Jordan James of 247sports.com, “Most of the schedule will include Wednesday afternoon games, and MLB Network will handle the production. The agreement marks the first time a major American sports league has agreed to have games shown only on Facebook.”
To add to the deal agreed upon, MLB will also produce specialized content for all 30 teams’ regular season matchups that will be available on Facebook Watch.
Previously, Facebook has streamed UEFA Champions League matches, and it also had 20 non-exclusive MLB broadcasts last season. The social media giant has 1.4 billion active daily users, per Bloomberg, and its ad revenue was $40 billion in 2017.
Facebook is not the only social media network to score a major professional sports league. In April, 2017 it was announced that The National Football League announced it had reached an agreement with Amazon Prime as its exclusive partner to deliver a live OTT digital stream of Thursday Night Football to a global audience across devices during the 2017 NFL season.
Amazon Prime Video streamed the 10 Thursday Night Football games broadcast by NBC and CBS, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network, securing the league’s “Tri-Cast” model of broadcast (NBC/CBS), cable (NFL Network), and digital (Amazon Prime Video) distribution.
The TNF games were also available to Prime Video members internationally in over 200 countries.