Major League Baseball games are coming to Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). The announcement was made today by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred at the end of quarterly owners meetings in New York. The deal will see a domestic match broadcast via MLB Facebook page every Friday starting with tomorrow’s game (Friday, May 19) between the Rockies and Reds at 7:10 p.m. ET. Other matches will be announced later.
“It’s very important for us to experiment [with Facebook]“, said Manfred.
All matches will be broadcast nationally without interruption. Financial terms have not been released.
A total of 20 matches will be broadcast on Facebook via a stream from a participating team’s local broadcast rights holder.
“Baseball games are engaging and unique community experiences, as the chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the field. By distributing one live game per week on Facebook, the Major League Baseball can reimagine this social experience on a national scale,” said Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships at Facebook. “We’re thrilled to be working with MLB to enable baseball fans on Facebook to watch games live. and connect with friends and fellow fans around the action no matter where they live in the United States, and we’re excited to help the league continue to reach new audiences on our platform.”
MLB has done other programming through Facebook in the past, like in 2011 with, MLB.com livestreamed some spring training games on Facebook, but that was by integrating the MLB.TV live video player on participating teams’ Facebook pages before Facebook Live was implemented. The aired when the Los Angeles Dodgers honored Vin Scully by inducting him into the Dodger Stadium Ring of Honor, most recently when the Chicago Cubs hoisted their World Series banner.