MLB and Facebook are joining forces to bring fans 20 live-streamed, regular-season games this season, with one game being broadcast over Facebook Live — without blackouts — each Friday for the rest of the 2017 campaign, the league and social media network announced on Thursday.
The first Facebook Live game will be the Rockies at the Reds (7:10 p.m. ET) this Friday. The other 19 games will be announced at a later time. The games, which will come from a feed from the participating team’s local broadcast rights-holder, will be accessible on MLB’s official Facebook page.
“It’s really important to us in terms of experimenting with a partner in this (social media) area. We’re really, really excited about this new partnership,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said at the MLB owners meetings on Thursday, tabbing the partnership to be the “most important announcement.”
Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, said the move will allow baseball fans to engage in newer ways.
“We're thrilled to work with MLB to enable baseball fans on Facebook to watch live games and connect with friends and fellow fans around the action, no matter where they live in the U.S., and are excited to help the league continue to reach new audiences on our platform."
MLB has dabbled in Facebook experiments in the past, including select spring training games being available to viewers over the social media platform.