×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Facebook Inks MLB Pact to Live-Stream Free Game Weekly

Facebook, in a notable move forward on its premium video strategy, has reached a deal with Major League Baseball to live-stream 20 games for free during the 2017 season.

The weekly broadcasts on Friday nights this season, available to everyone on Facebook in the U.S., will be available on the official MLB Facebook page (facebook.com/mlb). Word of Facebook’s interest in getting rights to baseball surfaced earlier this year. The social giant also bid (unsuccessfully) for NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” games package for last season, which went to Twitter, and for 2017, which went to Amazon.

The first of the 20 game broadcasts on Facebook will begin this Friday, with the Colorado Rockies at the Cincinnati Reds at 7:10 p.m. ET. Additional games will be announced at a later date. Each live-streamed game on Facebook will be a feed from one participating team’s local broadcast rights-holder, and will also continue to be carried on TV in the teams’ markets on regional sports networks.

Separately Thursday, ESL announced that it will live-stream exclusive eSports events and original content on Facebook, including content from “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” competitions and an exclusive weekly 30-minute “CS:GO” program that showcases top players, upcoming talent and tournament highlights. In total, ESL will bring more than 5,500 hours of eSports content to Facebook.

Twitter has similar deals with both MLB and ESL. Like Facebook, Twitter has rights to exclusively live-stream one Major League Baseball game per week.

“By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can re-imagine this social experience on a national scale,” Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, said in a statement.

In 2011 — well before the introduction of Facebook Live — MLB.com streamed select spring training games live on Facebook by embedding the live MLB.TV video player into the Facebook pages of the participating teams.

Currently, MLB makes use Facebook Live video to broadcast behind-the-scenes content from pro baseball. That has included Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson’s off-season workouts, batting practice on Opening Day, and MLB Network’s Sean Casey and Robert Flores answering questions from fans at the Chicago Cubs’ spring training camp.

For last season’s World Series — in which the Cubs prevailed in a historic championship run — MLB went live on Facebook leading up to each game, as MLB.com studio host-reporter Tim McMaster interviewed baseball legends Frank Thomas, Jeff Nelson, and Jack Morris. The league also used Facebook Live to broadcast the World Series pre- and post-game press conferences and the painting of a mural in the shadows of Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Pictured above: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hits a two-run home run against the New York Mets in a July 2016 game.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content