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Twitter Renews MLB Deal to Live-Stream Free Weekly Games for 2018 Season

Twitter is back for more peanuts and Cracker Jack: The social service renewed its deal with Major League Baseball to live-stream one day game per week for the 2018 season.

The weekly MLB games will be available only in the U.S., free to logged-in and logged-out users on Twitter and connected TV devices via live.twitter.com/MLB and @MLB.

Twitter doesn’t have exclusive rights to the games. Each weekly stream will be a simulcast of a participating team’s local TV broadcast. Each of the two dozen MLB matchups on Twitter will be day games. By contrast, Facebook inked a deal with MLB for exclusive global rights to 25 day games this year — which won’t be available on TV or any other platform.

Tech companies have been drawn to sports in the last two years like flies to honey, as players including Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Verizon and Google look to use premium sporting events to build audiences. In another MLB tech partnership, YouTube recently expanded its marketing deal with the league under which YouTube TV will be presenting sponsor of the World Series for 2018 and 2019.

MLB will launch its weekly Twitter game this Thursday, April 5, with out-of-market live streaming of the Texas Rangers at the Oakland Athletics at 3:35 p.m. ET. The current schedule for the other games this month is: April 10, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Chicago White Sox; April 19, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners; and April 25 Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros.

For the MLB games, Twitter will offer advertising packages for the content to be made available to sponsors. The internet company first carried live MLB games in 2016.

In addition, MLB again will also make real-time game highlights available on Twitter in English at @MLB and in Spanish at @LasMayores. Ahead of league’s 2018 season start, Twitter and MLB teamed up to create custom hashtag-triggered emoji for all 30 clubs.

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