It marks the first time that a major USA sports league has granted global exclusivity of any of its live games to a social media platform or digital-native media property.
This also means that people who subscribe to the league's online streaming service MLB.tv will have to watch the 25 baseball games on Facebook, a spokesperson for the social network said. The Wednesday matinee, for the first time in United States history among its four major professional sports leagues, will be exclusively broadcast on social media.
On top of the live broadcasts, the Major League Baseball will also release extra content on Facebook Watch like on-demand highlights for every regular season game, as well as weekly recap highlights for each team. Soshnick noted the games will primarily be on Wednesdays, starting with the April 4 contest between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. The company also had 20 non-exclusive Major League Baseball games last season and acquired exclusive rights to stream 47 college basketball games involving smaller conferences this year. And it might mark the first inning of what could be a seismic shift for sports from its historic home on TV to digital over the next few years as more rights come due. The game was chosen to be broadcast on Facebook as part of an agreement with Major League Baseball that was announced Friday.
Rush on to restore power as another winter storm looms
The main storm is still developing off North Carolina's Outer Banks, as warnings and advisories stretch from Virginia to Maine . Forecasters warn that the storm will rapidly strengthen by Wednesday evening, when visibility and travel will be most hard .
In addition to the games themselves, there will also be "on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game, as well as club-specific weekly recap packages for all 30 MLB teams" produced by the league and airing on Facebook.
The package begins April 4 with a Phillies-Mets game at 1:10 ET from Citi Field. The schedule includes a second Phillies game on April 26, when the Arizona Diamondbacks visit Citizens Bank Park. MLB Network will introduce new in-game production elements specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook.
All 30 teams unanimously approved the deal on Friday, creating the baseball's first digital-only national broadcasts. With streaming being the newest and fastest growing trend among viewers it only makes sense for America's game to be streamed on Facebook.