March 24, 2018

Phillies-Mets to debut Facebook Watch on April 4

10 March 2018, 12:59 | Cassandra Thompson

Mark Brown Getty

Mark Brown  Getty

In addition to each live broadcast, Major League Baseball will produce and distribute specially curated content, including on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game, which will be made available on Facebook Watch. All 30 Major League Baseball teams unanimously approved the deal.

Neither party announced the financial terms of the deal, but Bloomberg is putting the deal between $30 million and $35 million.

Lee Berke, an industry consultant, notes that the increasing migration of live sports to streaming services is similar to what happened when sports jumped from broadcast over to cable years ago. "This is part of the next great leap".

All 25 games will be weekday afternoon tilts (mostly Wednesdays) as Major League Baseball and Facebook seemingly look to engage with many Americans during work hours. Late last year, sources told Sports Business Journal that Facebook would spend "a few billion dollars" on sports streaming deals, and given that Amazon paid $50 million for Thursday night National Football League games a year ago, the MLB arrangement might be investing in a market the social network already had a foothold in. The social media network also has rights to stream the UEFA Champions League, Mexico's soccer league, and "college basketball games involving smaller conferences".

Social networks are increasingly getting their hooks in the live sports streaming game, but we've seen a limited sample size for what baseball can do on a social platform. Facebook's ad revenue previous year totaled $40 billion.

Overall, these games will add to the Facebook experience.

Jurassic World Alive brings dinosaurs to life in Pokemon Go-like game
The game is now looking for pre-registrations, promising an in-game "incubator" as a reward; presumably to develop dinosaurs. While you might write it off as just another mobile game rip-off, there are some pretty tempting differences.

Facebook and Major League Baseball are expanding on the live broadcast deal they kicked off previous year, promising a 25-game package of weekday MLB contests.

The broadcasts will feature a play-by-play announcer from the MLB Network and an analyst who already calls games for one of the teams in that day's contest.

And production by the MLB Network will mean a polished presentation out of the box, but with Facebook able to experiment with social integration and graphics in the broadcast.

Last season, Facebook livestreamed 20 Friday games as a simulcast with the teams' local television broadcasts.

It's also a sign Facebook wants to bolster its fledgling Watch video tab and move further into signing exclusive deals for lucrative sports packages.

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