The Mets will share the first Facebook Watch-aired Major League Baseball game with the Phillies on April 4. With all this deal seems to include, Facebook could very well become a source for Major League Baseball news and updates throughout the season, despite the fact that it will only offer a limited number of games.
The games will be available to Facebook users in the USA on Facebook Watch, the company's video feature announced last August, via the MLB Live show 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 on Facebook each week".
The social network reportedly paid between $30 million and $35 million for the rights to the games, which will primarily take place on Wednesday afternoons.
The social network will stream a weekly game exclusively on its platform, the company announced on Friday.
"This is part of the next great leap", said industry consultant, Lee Berke, of Friday's announcement.
YouTube TV branding will be visible during the first pitches of games on MLB Network and MLB.tv in a season-long sponsorship arrangement.
Facebook's Major League Baseball deal underscores the fiercely competitive market of technology companies like Google (goog), Sony, Hulu, Amazon, and Twitter debuting streaming video services that include shows and sporting events traditionally shown on broadcasting and cable networks. Afternoon games on Facebook are at least a way for more people to sneak watch a game while they procrastinate at the office. Fans can watch the games on the MLB Live show page on Facebook Watch, which will be globally available aside from "select global markets", according to a press release. The game will start at 1:10 p.m. EST.
It's also worth noting this is one of the few instances of a digital player taking valuable content away from traditional TV - in this case, games from a major US sports league. Viewers will be able to watch on tablets, smartphones, computers and connected TVs.
The league also announced that Facebook will stream a matinee on April 11 between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals as well as an April 18 matchup between the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays.