Major League Baseball has cut a deal with Snapchat — the messaging service that has been quickly building out media partnerships — for a weekly series of “stories,” titled “MLB Wednesdays,” featuring MLB and fan-contributed content from the league’s Wednesday games.
The pro-baseball org is the first sports league to deliver regularly scheduled programming on Snapchat, although the NFL, NBA and NHL also have posted “stories” to the service. The Story posts are available on the service for 24 hours, whereas regular messages sent between Snapchatters disappear in 10 seconds or less after recipients see them.
The MLB series will feature highlights and content from three to five MLB games every week for the duration of the regular season. Essentially, according to the league, an MLB “story” is a curated feed of fan experiences they’re sharing live from a game, as well as material from the MLB’s crew of “real-time correspondents,” a social-media squad that’s present at every game. “MLB Wednesdays” appears on Snapchat’s Stories screen under the “live” heading.
The first MLB story on Snapchat began Wednesday with the Washington Nationals-Arizona Diamondbacks game, which started at 3:40 p.m. ET.
MLB Advanced Media began working with Snapchat in early 2014 to begin securing accounts for MLB and all 30 teams. The MLB’s Snapchat account debuted at the start of spring training in February 2014.
The deal with MLB comes after Snapchat — which has well over 100 million active users, according to industry estimates — launched the Discover service in January with media partners including ESPN, CNN, Vice Media, Comedy Central, Food Network, Time Inc.’s People and Yahoo. Snapchat Discover is a separate menu on the app, which also includes a curated Snapchat channel.
Meanwhile, Snapchat also is gearing up to launch an original news operation. In late April, the privately held company hired CNN national political reporter Peter Hamby as head of news. At this point, neither Snapchat nor Hamby — who had been the news cabler’s lead correspondent for the 2016 election cycle — has shed light on how, exactly, the messaging service’s news initiative will take shape.