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Volume 25 No. 239
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Facebook Gets Exclusive Rights To 25 MLB Weekday Games

MLB has struck a new rights deal with Facebook, giving the social media portal exclusive rights to 25 weekday games during the course of the ’18 season to air on Facebook Watch. The deal represents MLB’s first digital-only national broadcast package. The package, available globally with the exception of select international markets, will begin April 4 with Mets-Phillies and continue weekly during the course of the season. MLB Deputy Commissioner of Business & Media Tony Petitti in a statement called the deal “a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans.” Financial terms were not disclosed. The games will be produced by MLB Network and broadcast talent for the game has not been finalized. Those MLB Net productions will include a series of elements specifically designed for watching and interacting with the streams on Facebook.

READY FOR THE BIG TIME: MLS last year began streaming live games on Facebook, and a series of smaller leagues and college properties have reached agreements with the platform. But the MLB deal represents the first time a top-tier U.S. sports property has given exclusive game inventory to Facebook. MLB last year streamed a smaller set of games on Facebook on a non-exclusive basis. The announcement of the new MLB-Facebook deal follows a unanimous vote of approval by club owners on the rights package. Facebook is the world’s largest social media network with 1.4 billion daily active users. Facebook’s stock rose following the announcement of the MLB deal, and at presstime, the stock was up 1.56% from the close of business on Thursday.

INITIAL MLB GAMES ON FACEBOOK WATCH FOR '18 SEASON
DATE
MATCHUP
4/4
Phillies-Mets
4/11
Brewers-Cardinals
4/18
Royals-Blue Jays
4/26
D-Backs-Phillies
Download the
Initial MLB Games On Facebook