Facebook Secures Exclusive Broadcast Rights to 25 MLB Games

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Facebook and Major League Baseball have a reached a deal to stream one game a week on its platform as an exclusive throughout the season.

The games are mostly Wednesday afternoon games, so far from prime time, but stand as another foray into live sports for the social media company.

On top of the live broadcasts, the Major League Baseball will also release extra content on Facebook Watch like on-demand highlights for every regular season game, as well as weekly recap highlights for each team. The social media giant has entered into its first major deal with MLB to be the exclusive home for a number of games this season. For Facebook, however, the rights allow for experimentation with things like social integration and graphics during the broadcast, enhancements popular with younger viewers drawn to digital platforms.

All fans, except those in "select worldwide markets", will be able to watch each of the 25 streamed, MLB Network-produced games on the MLB Live Facebook page. "It is a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans, who will enjoy a uniquely interactive experience watching our games each week". This announcement was made after the 30 Major League Clubs unanimously approved the deal.

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MLB said the games on Facebook Watch will be the league's first digital-only national broadcasts. Neither MLB nor Facebook disclosed the financial terms. The schedule includes a second Phillies game on April 26, when the Arizona Diamondbacks visit Citizens Bank Park. Each additional monthly broadcast schedule will be announced during the season. New York Mets, 1:10 p.m. YouTube TV, an over-the-top service launched a year ago, also will carry the streaming service MLB.tv, available to consumers for an added fee.

Facebook aired simulcasts of 20 Friday night games during the 2017 season and also has agreements in place to stream Champions League soccer matches and men's college basketball games. The casual fan that doesn't even know what channel SNY is on their cable box, may happen to want to watch a game on Facebook if they stumble upon it.

Phillies fans will now have a new way to watch their favorite team this season thanks to a new program.

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