Facebook will host live-streamed Major League Baseball games this season

Geronimo Vena
Mag 20, 2017

While NBA Digital and NextVR partnered this season to broadcast one NBA LEAGUE PASS game per week live in virtual reality, baseball is a more hard game to shoot in VR for a quality broadcast experience given the large field of play.

Facebook may have missed out on streaming the country's most popular sport, but it has signed a deal to broadcast America's pastime. The games are only available to Facebook users in the USA and will be sourced from a local broadcaster's feed.

Major League Baseball announced Facebook will carry a live game nationally each Friday starting with Colorado at Cincinnati this week. That lack of exclusivity most likely makes the price Facebook paid significantly less than the $20 million Verizon paid for exclusive rights to stream one National Football League game, for example.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the Facebook deal following the quarterly owners meetings in NYC on Thursday. In 2011, before the introduction of Facebook Live, MLB.com streamed selected spring-training games live on Facebook (by embedding the MLB.TV video player into the Facebook Pages of the participating teams).

The MLB is not new to Facebook video.

Major League Baseball said those games will now stream on Tuesdays. Zuckerberg said that when it comes to live sports, Facebook would be a content aggregator, not a generator. Bringing sports to social media networks makes sense. There's shouting, cheering, and sometimes throwing an object or two.

Sports is one of the few things people still watch live. Sometimes conversations are lively, other times they are tense. "I can't tell you we are going to do it".

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