3/9/18, "Facebook to exclusively stream 25 MLB games this season, starting with Phillies-Mets," NY Daily News, Evan Grossman
"MLB and Facebook reached an agreement to stream games on the social
media site season, starting with Phillies-Mets on April 4. Facebook
Watch will broadcast a total of 25 games this year, mostly on Wednesday
afternoons, as part of MLB's first digital-only broadcasts.
"This partnership with Facebook reflects the ongoing commitment of
Major League Baseball and our Clubs to connect with people around the
world," Tony Petitti, Deputy Commissioner of Business and Media for
Major League Baseball, said in a statement Friday. "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 on Facebook each week."
First up will be the Mets and Phillies on the first Wednesday of the
regular season. MLB will release the broadcast schedule a month at a
time, to allow for more flexibility. Every MLB team has a certain number
of national broadcasts they must be a part of each season, which will
also dictate the rolling schedule.
As for the day and time, MLB selected mid-week afternoons to maximize
the online audience. The thought is that most viewers are in front of a
computer, most likely at work, in the middle of the week. The league is
still working out the finer details, such as which announcers will be
used on each game.
Game broadcasts will be produced by MLB Network and will feature a
number of digital tools to enhance the viewing experience. Fans will be
able to watch games on their mobile and desktop devices that have been
designed for more immersive viewing, sharing and interacting consistent
with the social media platform.
"We're excited to extend our partnership with Major League Baseball to
make Facebook Watch a home for exclusive, live games every week this
season," Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, said.
"Community and conversation are central to both baseball and Facebook,
and MLB Network's innovative broadcasts will bring these interactive and
social elements of the game to life to fans around the world in new
ways on our platform."
Facebook has previously live streamed college football and UEFA Champions League games.
The first MLB broadcast will stream on Facebook Watch April 4 live from
Citi Field. The remainder of the April schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, April 4: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets, 1:10 p.m.
Wednesday, April 11: Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18: Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m.
Thursday, April 26: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m."