Major League Baseball and Facebook announced an expanded partnership for the 2018 season that grants the social network exclusive rights to live stream 25 games. The weekly package will be available on Facebook Watch in the United States via the MLB Live show Page.
Facebook Watch production will be supported across various devices, including mobile phones and connected televisions. The package of weekday afternoon games will debut a variety of presentation and interactivity innovations. MLB Network will introduce new in-game production elements specially tailored for sharing and interacting on the social media platform.
The historic agreement marks MLB’s first digital-only national broadcast. “This partnership with Facebook reflects the ongoing commitment of Major League Baseball and our Clubs to connect with people around the world,” said deputy commissioner of business and media for Major League Baseball Tony Petitti in a released statement.
“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.”
MLB also will produce and distribute specially curated content in addition to each live game broadcast, including on-demand highlights for every regular-season game as well as team-specific weekly recap packages for all 30 MLB teams. It will be available on Facebook Watch in the United States and fans around the world.
The first scheduled Facebook Watch broadcast this season is a matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, live from Citi Field on Wednesday, April 4, at 10:10 a.m. PT. Fans may add this game and every weekly broadcast on Facebook Watch to their Watchlists by following the MLB Live show Page.
Last May, MLB and Facebook partnered to live stream 20 games, which aired weekly on Friday night as simulcasts of the home team’s television broadcast. Then in October, the league announced a partnership with YouTube for the 2017 World Series, which delivered exclusive content online.
Teams that have their game appear online are factored toward their number of national broadcasts on ESPN, FOX, FS1 and the like. Scheduled games for known Facebook Watch broadcasts included below. Additional games will be announced as the season progresses.
Wednesday, April 4: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets, 10:10 a.m. PT
Wednesday, April 11: Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 10:15 a.m. PT
Wednesday, April 18: Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. PT
Thursday, April 26: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 10:05 a.m. PT