June 2nd, 2017
Facebook and the MLB organization have joined forces to live-stream one game of America’s favorite pastime every Friday for the remainder of the Major League Baseball season. Twenty out of 2,430 total games will air live on the social media platform.
The announcement was made by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred at the quarterly owners meetings in New York City Thursday, May 18th. On May 19th, the first live-stream featured the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds game.
Since the games are live-streamed on the official MLB Facebook page, every Facebook user in the U.S. will be able to watch the games without being subjected to blackouts. This may also appeal to younger viewers who frequently access Facebook.
In 2011, way before the launch of Facebook Live, MLB.com live-streamed certain spring training games by embedding the MLB.TV video player directly on to the participating teams’ Facebook pages.
The partnership confirms earlier reports that Facebook was interested in striking a deal to broadcast live MLB games. Twitter also has a similar deal giving them the rights to stream one MLB game a week.
This past season, Facebook was unsuccessful in gaining the rights to stream NFL’s Thursday Night Football games after a deal with Twitter had already been made. Next year, the rights are in Amazon’s hands after dropping Twitter and striking a $50 million deal with the NFL.
Amongst all of these competitive deals, in February, Facebook also made a deal with Univision Deportes to stream soccer games.
It will be interesting to see Facebook’s next move – perhaps a deal with the NBA for the upcoming season?
Interested in livestreaming to market your business? Read our previous blog post offering livestreaming video tips!